~Prosecutor’s Office Bulletin~
PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Court of First Instance has sentenced suspect J.V.G. on Wednesday, June 8, to 40 months in jail, of which 10 months suspended, and a probation period of two years for illegally having bullets in his possession; fencing of jewelry originating from the Oro Diamanté armed robbery (Menam case); and committing an armed robbery.
These acts were all committed between June and October 2015. The Prosecutor’s Office had asked for a jail sentence of 4 years.
The victim of the robbery N.C. Wathey had also submitted a claim of US $21,107.10 on behalf of Global Distribution NV. The money stolen from him belonged to this company and was intended to pay the monthly salary of the workers.
The Court of First Instance granted this claim. The Prosecutor’s Office had also submitted an order to recover proceeds of crime pertaining to the robbery for the same sum of US $21,107.10.
“Crime doesn’t pay. We have to restore the situation as it was before the robbery was committed,” the Prosecutor said, motivating the order submitted. The Court of First Instance turned down this order based on the fact that the disadvantaged party had already submitted a claim for the same amount.
Court orders repayment of more than $20,000
Armed robber gets 40 months
Today Newspaper Court Story
GREAT BAY – The Court in First Instance sentenced Jason Vincent Greene yesterday to 40 months of imprisonment, with 10 months suspended and 2 years of probation. Greene robbed Global Distribution director Norman Chester Wathey II on October 30 of more than $20,000 at the site of Jordan village in Cupecoy, eight days after he had been released from police custody.
On August 10, Greene was already detained after police found four gold bracelets at his house that stem from the august 5 armed robbery at the Oro Diamanté jewelry store on Front Street. That robbery took place on August 5 and one of the robbers, Ridge Damisse, fatally shot police officer Gamali Benjamin that day. His fellow-robber Jovanny Leon escapes initially with part of the loot and he confessed to investigators that he had given the bracelets to Greene for safekeeping.
On August 31, Greene’s custody was suspended, but he was re-arrested on October 10 after police found out that the bracelets stemmed from the Oro Diamanté robbery. On October 22, Greene was released again.
Eight days later he was waiting on a scooter at the Jordan Village project, located behind the Casino Royale in Cupecoy. When director Norman Chester Wathey II arrived around 3 p.m. with the money to pay his employees, Greene approached him, pointed a silver-colored gun at him and demanded that he hand over the money. Then he took off on his scooter towards the French side.
Ten minutes later a security guard found several things: a helmet, a black shirt and a bunch of envelopes imprinted with the name global distribution, plus salary slips of the company’s employees. The helmet and the shirt turned out to contain DNA traces that match Greene’s profile.
The defendant’s DNA-profile was in the databank because on August 10 officers had not only found the gold bracelets, but also 23 rounds of live ammunition. The latter find made giving a DNA-sample mandatory for Greene.
Prosecutor Martin van Nes considered all charges against the defendant proven. Greene should have known that the bracelet stemmed from a crime, the prosecutor said. Greene claimed to investigators that he had found the ammunition two months earlier on the beach and that he had kept the bullets with the intention to sell them someday.
Van Nes considered the DNA-evidence found on the helmet and the shirt, in combination with statements from Wathey and a witness that these items had been used during the robbery, sufficient for legal and convincing evidence against the defendant.
He demanded a 4-year prison sentence. He also asked the court to grant the claim by the injured party for repayment of the more than $21,000 in stolen salaries.
Attorney Geert Hatzmann pointed out that there were also DNA-traces of another – unknown – person on the helmet and that it is therefore possible that someone else had committed the robbery. He also asked the court to deny the victim’s claim and said that 4 months plus community service would suffice for the possession of the bracelets and the ammunition. Hatzmann asked the court to acquit his client from the armed robbery-charge and to terminate his detention immediately.
Judge Maria Paulides however, considered all charges proven. She pointed to the statements made by the victim and the witness and to the fact that the helmet and the shirt had been found ten minutes after the robbery right next to the (empty) Global Distribution salary-envelopes plus the salary slips.
“Without an acceptable explanation of the defendant about the presence of his DNA on the helmet and the shirt it can only be that he was the one that committed the robbery,” the judge said.
She noticed that there is no evidence that the weapon Greene used was real or that is was loaded and she used this circumstance as an argument to hand down a slightly lower sentence.
The judge granted the claim by the injured party up to an amount of $21,107.10.