GREAT BAY – Prosecutor Karola van Nie demanded 20 years of imprisonment yesterday morning against Felix Floyd C. for a series of nine home burglaries, four armed home robberies, attempted manslaughter on a police officer and firearm and ammunition possession. The court will present an interim-ruling on July 13.
The 38-year old defendant was brought under heavy security into the court room. Outside, the Hendrik Straat next to the courthouse was closed off for all traffic and C. was brought in with a belt around his waist and his hands cuffed close to his sides. He remained like that all through the court hearing that lasted until the early afternoon.
The prosecution has charged C. with nine home burglaries, committed between December 31 2010, and October 21, 2015; the targeted homes are located on Okra Drive, Reward Road, Pumpkin Road, Nevis Drive, Okra Road, Date Mussel Road, Blue Bell Drive and Touch Me Not Road.
The burglary at Date Mussel road, committed on October 17, 2011 stands out, because this was the house of former Chief Commissioner Peter de Witte. C. stole the chief commissioner’s service weapon, a Walther P5, ammunition, jewelry and $13,000 in cash.
The armed robberies took place in 2011 and 2015 at the Touch Me Not Road, the Port of Spain Drive, the Celsius Street, the Calabas Drive and the Pointsetta Road. On September 24, 2015, C. robbed two homes on the Pointsetta Road, but there he ran into a police officer. Making his escape, C. fired shots in the direction of the policeman, and that set him up for an attempted manslaughter charge.
Prosecutor Van Nie said that there have been 28 armed home robberies in 2015. She described the defendant as armed and dangerous, but also as persistent and goal-oriented. “He knows what he is doing,” she said.
He is illegally in St. Maarten and he is illiterate. He has six children and he told the court that his children are the most important in his life. That did not stop him to commit armed robberies in homes where small children were present.
Most of the robberies were committed during the day. All homes were on the outskirts of neighborhoods. At all places where C. stole stuff – mostly electronics and cash – he went into the fridge, took a drink and left the bottle on the sink. That is where investigators found his DNA.
The prosecutor considered all charges proven and told the court that the defendant is wanted in Antigua for armed robberies. She announced that the prosecutor’s office will in a later stadium come with a demand to seize assets from the defendant.
Attorney Sjamira Roseburg asked the court to acquit her client of several burglaries for lack of evidence and of the attempted manslaughter. “There was no intention to kill the police officer. The weapon went off accidentally,” she said. “That happens. He had just committed a burglary and he had his hands full while he attempted to get away.”
Roseburg furthermore said that it is impossible to establish what really has been stolen from the homes. “Victims mention anything to the police that they are unable to find,” she said.
Roseburg objected to the way het client was brought into court. “Like a monster. He cannot use his hands to express himself when he speaks; he has been sitting here handcuffed all morning and he has been described as a man without a conscience. This is not hardened criminal; he is also a human being. He only stole to survive.”
SOURCE: Today Newspaper
PHOTO: 721 News