Court suspends custody of manslaughter-suspect

Sjamira Roseburg del despacho de abogados Peterson y Sulvarán.


PHILIPSBURG – The Court in First Instance suspended on Wednesday morning the pretrial detention of a 21-year old defendant who stabbed a man to death on December 5, 2017 after an argument about parking space.

Joceidi Martin G. was arrested on the day of the stabbing and remained behind bars ever since, awaiting his trial. The public prosecutor proposed May 23 as the trial date and the court followed this suggestion.

On March 16, the prosecutor’s office staged a reconstruction of the event that resulted in the death of T.R.S. Chumney.

While G.’s attorney Sjamira Roseburg had not seen the video of the reconstruction, she said that the report shows that her client had acted out of self-defense. She therefore asked the court to terminate or suspend het client’s pretrial detention. “Self defense has been made sufficiently plausible,” she said.

The public prosecutor disagreed and he objected to the attorney’s request. “This defendant is in jail because he took the life of another human being. There are ten stab wounds. This is not self defense but an argument that went completely out of control. The defendant had zero wounds. This has shocked the legal order in our small community.”

The prosecutor doubted G.’s statement that he had used ‘a certain technique’ to take the large knife he was threatened with away from his attacker.

But Roseburg later noted that the reconstruction had shown that her client was indeed capable of doing this without causing himself any harm.

The night before the stabbing, around 4 a.m.,  Chumney threatened the defendant twice with a firearm. A witness declared that he had said on those occasions: “Do you think I am afraid of you? I will kill you in a little while. I am able to kill anyone just like that.”

The next day, around 1.15 p.m., tge argument with the fatal ending occurred. Roseburg said that Chumney kept attacking her client after he had taken the knife away from him. “At that moment my client stabbed the victim.”

Roseburg said that G. first stabbed his victim in him stomach. During the struggle that followed he inflicted the other nine stab wounds.

The judge noted that the number of stab wounds give reason for thought but that he is prepared to suspend the defendant’s pretrial detention.

G. is not allowed to return to the crime scene and he has to live with his father who is a pastor at Turning Point. He is also not allowed to contact the victim’s family or commit other crimes. He has to appear in court on May 23 and has to remain available for the prosecutor’s office and the police.