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TSXM – St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced two armed robbers to 42 months of imprisonment yesterday. Judge Tamara Tijhuis found both Alexander Raphael Brooks, 22, and his cousin Germain Denisio Chumney, 26, guilty of a robbery near the Jump Up casino in Philipsburg on February 12, whereby they took $660 in cash, phones, car keys and personal papers from their victim under threat of a firearm.
Of both sentences, 18 months are suspended. The court imposed a 3-year probation period. Prosecutor Tineke Kamps demanded at the trial on June 19, 4 years of imprisonment against Brooks (with 1 year suspended) and 36 months against Chumney (with 18 months suspended).
The robbers pointed a gun at their victim, telling him” I am going to kill you; I am going to kill you.”
A psychological evaluation of Brooks showed that the defendant is fully aware of the difference between good and evil and that he can be held accountable for his actions. The court took into account the defendant’s social and emotional development and the level of his intellectual powers. Nevertheless, the court dismissed the defendant’s reason for committing the robbery. Brooks told the court that he felt abused by the robbery-victim. “It has been the choice of the defendant to enter into a relationship with the victim. The meetings with the victim took place at the defendant’s initiative,” the court ruled, adding that it also holds against Brooks that he committed the robbery while he was still under probation for an earlier conviction. In September of last year, he was sentenced to an 8-month conditional prison sentence and 120 hours of community service for an armed robbery.
During the new probation period, Brooks will have to abide by instructions from the Rehabilitation Bureau, also when this includes cooperation with treatment and supervision by Turning Point or the Mental Health Foundation.
The court ruled that Chumney had encouraged his “socially and intellectually less developed cousin” to commit the robbery. This was reason for the court to hand down a sentence higher than the prosecution’s demand to this defendant.
Chumney told his cousin to call the victim for a meeting and to rob him when he showed up. He told the court that he had not seen his cousin on the night of the robbery, but witness statements made clear that this is incorrect.