TSXM – St. Maarten – Ray Anthony Spencer will receive more than 100,000 guilders in compensation from the state for the time he spent in prison and in a police cell – first as a suspect and then as a convict in the January 23, 2010 murder of Christian Lloyd. On February 6 of this year, the Appeals Court acquitted Spencer, who had been sentenced to 20 years in the Court in First Instance on October 12, 2011. After his acquittal, he left the country.
Spencer spent 1,076 days behind bars for the murder – from February 26, 2010 until his release on February 6, 2013. A bit more than 20,000 guilders of the settlement is for the cost of Spencer’s attorneys Remco Stomp and Cor Merx.
The guideline for compensation related to detention in a prison cell is between 50 and 150 guilders per day. The court awarded Spencer 100 guilders per day for the 1,066 days he spent in Pointe Blanche, plus 75 guilders per day for the ten days he spent in a police cell. The total compensation amounts to 80,950 guilders, or a bit more than $45,000.
Spencer petitioned the court for compensation saying that he is entitled to it based on the principle of fairness. According to Spencer, it took justice three years before it accepted his offer to prove his innocence by pinpointing the place where he claims to have bought Lloyd’s cell phone from a drug addict. The possession of this phone was one of the key pieces of evidence that resulted in his conviction.
“Justice has incorrectly not done further research into another suspect, while there was every reason to do this,” Spencer said in his petition. He also pointed out that he had been seriously ill-treated several times in Pointe Blanche because of his assumed homosexuality.
The Appeals Court ruled that, considering all circumstances and the information gathered during a closed door hearing on August 29, there are grounds of fairness to grant compensation for the time Spencer spent in detention.