Regatta-murders: life imprisonment

POSTED: 11/24/11 8:35 AM

Two defendants face maximum punishment for eight violent crimes

St. Maarten – Public Prosecutor mr. Bart den Hartigh demanded life imprisonment against Curtley Allison R. and his partner in crime Sherwan R. for the Regatta-murders (so called because they occurred around the Heineken Regatta), rape, three armed robberies and a case of ill-treatment. The trial lasted from nine o’clock yesterday morning until six thirty last night and it is not done yet; this morning the defense has the floor in the court room to plead their clients’ cases.

The two defendants were brought in yesterday morning under heavy security. They remained shackled throughout the procedures under the watchful eye of members of the Police Arrest Team.

The defendants, who are both from Dominica, are charges with eight counts. The chronology of these events shows how the two men increased the violence they used against their victims step by step.

The Dominicans decided to start a criminal career because they were short of money. Curtley R., who drank two bottles of whisky a day, decided to pose as a gipsy cab driver to lure potential victims into his car, with Sherwan R. as his partner on the backseat.

The modus operandus for all crimes was identical: the two men lured people under false pretenses into their car, drove them to a remote location and robbed them. In one case, robbery turned into rape, and in three other cases, it turned into extremely violent murder.

On the evening of February 12, the defendants picked up Missoluny Jean Pierre around 9.30 p.m. near Mary’s Boon. The victim, who had just finished working as a security guard at the Karakter Beach Bar took a near fatal ride to town with them. Near Learning Unlimited, the men drove onto a rocky road, where Sherwan R. attempted to strangle him. In the end, the two robbers beat and hit their victim until he was unconscious, robbing him of $40, a cell phone and a bag containing several bread rolls and six Bibles.

A couple of hours later, in the early morning of February 13, the robbers found their next victim in a young woman whom they lured into their car in Simpson Bay. They take her to the same location where they robbed their first victim, robbed her of her money, ill-treated her, and violently raped her several times in ways too horrible to describe in a newspaper. Curtley R. suggested killing the woman, but Sherwan R. preferred to take the victim to her house to steal more money and other valuables from her. While this discussion was going on, the woman managed to escape. The robbers are left with some jewelry and $22 they took from their victim.

Then, four days later, the two get into an argument in the Esperanza Bar in Middle Region with a woman who rejected Curtley R.’s advances and who gave a hug to his buddy Sherwan R. instead. A fight erupted whereby both men turned on the woman by beating and kicking her. Curtley R. goes after the woman with a knife but bystanders manage to wrestle it away from him. The woman retaliated by throwing stones and bottles at her attackers. When the woman is on the ground and Sherwan R. is kicking her, Curtley R. screams, “kill her, kill her.”

The next day, when the victim wants to go to the police to file a complaint, both men are in front of her house, armed with a piece of wood and a machete.

Two days later, on February 19, the Dominicans are at it again when they pick up Steve Hubbard, who is waiting for a taxi outside the Hollywood Casino. Hubbard, a boat captain, has spent a pleasant evening at the poker tables, winning about $500. The men take their victim all the way to the French side in the vicinity of the Etang Aux Poissons.

Curtley R. drags the captain out of his car and starts a fight, but his victim gets the better of him. Only when Sherwan R. joins the fight and starts hitting Hubbard with a piece of wood the situation changes. The victim screams that he will give the men his stuff, the $500 and an iPhone if they stop fighting, but when they don’t listen he finally flees into the lagoon, where he stays for a couple of hours until he is certain that his attackers have left.

On February 23, Johnny Cerrano arrives at the airport at twenty minutes to ten in the evening. When he walks towards his hotel in Simpson Bay, Sherwan R. appears behind him, puts a weapon (which turns out to be a flare gun) against his head and forces him into the car Curtley R. is driving. They robbed the victim of his laptop and his cell phone, before kicking him out of the car.

This robbery is the Dominican’s downfall, though they will still manage to commit three murders before they are eventually arrested on April 7. Investigators tap the phone the robbers stole from Cerrano; this puts them on the trail of Joanne, one of Curtley R.’s girlfriends.

On February 25, the luxury yacht Cheetah Moon arrives in Simpson Bay. On board is among others chef Ludovic Guillevin. The crew goes out in the evening to Jimbo’s Bar and while everybody returns to the yacht after the establishment closes, Guillevin decides to have some more fun. When he walks in the direction of the airport, he is picked up by the two Dominicans. They force him into their car, and drive to the beach in Mullet Bay. There they drag their victim out of the car; they hit him, kick him, bash him on the head with a coconut and stab him sex times. Two of the stab wounds are potentially fatal. When their victim was unconscious, the Dominicans attempted to set his shirt on fire.

Sherwan R. told the court that Curtley R. was the one stabbing Guillevin, but to the police he admitted earlier that he had done some stabbing of his own: “I stabbed him where I could.”

Asked how he felt about the fact that Guillevin had died, Curtley R. Said, “I was not happy about it.” That did not stop the Dominicans from striking again in the early hours of March 4, when they picked up Eduardo Nova Valdez, who had done some work as an electrician at the Karakter Beach Bar the evening before. Until midnight he spent time at the Tropicana Casino in Simpson Bay. To go home, he took a gipsy cab to Dutch Quarter.

With Curtley R. behind the wheel and his partner Sherwan R. on the backseat, this would be Nova Valdez’ last ride. The robbers did not go to Dutch Quarter but they drove against the traffic up the Cakehouse Road. There they stabbed, kicked and ill-treated their victim in a most horrible way. Forensic evidence shows that Nova Valdez was stabbed 67 times; his face was unrecognizable because the two Dominicans had smashed it in with a heavy rock in such a forceful way that the impact made of five centimeter deep hole in the rocky underground.

The “reward” for their efforts was close to zero, because Nova Valdez had just $5 in his pockets and a cell phone.

And still it was not enough: on the evening of the same day, the Dominicans picked up Foidel Luis. The victim has come home around ten o’clock that evening from a very busy day. F cleaned a pool in Cupecoy, worked a full day as a driver from Prime Distributors and a shift as a security guard at Port de Plaisance. But at eleven o’clock that evening his night shift at L’Esperance hotel was about to start.

Foidel Luis never arrived at this last job, because Curtley R. and Sherwan R. picked him up for a ride. They took him too, to the remote location behind Learning Unlimited, where they stabbed him, beat and kicked him and threw stones at his head that burst open on impact. They threw gasoline on their victim but did not manage to find a lighter; otherwise they would have set him on fire as well.

The prosecution detailed all these crimes in court yesterday in every painful detail. mr. Bart den Hartigh held both defendants equally responsible. “Each count by itself warrants a long prison sentence within one week they took three lives. They committed a large number of very violent crimes within a short period of time, and they were only stopped because they were arrested.”

The prosecutor said that the defendants had used extreme cruelty. “I cannot begin to describe what they have done. They say they were in it for the money, but they used much more violence than is necessary for a robbery. They gained pleasure from the violence they used. We are dealing with madmen here.”

mr. Den Hartigh said that both defendants are a danger to society. “The risk that they repeat these crimes is one that a small society like St. Maarten cannot afford. To protect the community it is in our view urgently necessary that these defendants will not get a chance to get out of jail again.”

The life sentence the prosecution demanded against both defendants is not unique, but it is rare. In the past four years, the heaviest punishment was for Devon Otto, who was sentenced to 30 years for the murder of Stanley Gumbs.

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Comments (29)


  1. Dominican 2 De Bone says:

    My sympathies to the victims’ families and friends…this is so painful to read. I hope they get the maximum penalty for their crimes because we don’t want them back in our sweet nature island home. Sickheads!!

  2. surpise says:

    what a shame for DOMINICA.Lord have mercy on our land and our people.No country deserve that can of PAIN.LORD HEAR OUR PRAYERS.

  3. Joan says:

    they deserve for every life taken it should be a life sentence
    spending a total of 6life sentence

  4. me says:

    this is a sad story and i hope justice is serviced!

    But jah knows who ever write this article needs to go back to school.. your writing techniques were horrible and so was your grammar.. it pained me to read your work.. srry

  5. treat them the same way they treat their victims.why the police didnot put an alert when the first woman was attack? im from dominica living in canada .the police would have gotten those pigs long time .when pigs commit crimes like this they are delibrate says:

    please have those pigs rape daily in jail .also tuture them daily

  6. Ashamed says:

    This is quite disturbing. These useless men left Dominica and went to another country to create a negative image for Dominica. As a Dominican I believe they should be sentenced to death.

  7. disgussed says:

    I don’t think life in prison is the best for these guys, thou it seems like you will be granting them a favor by killing them (it looks like they fed up with dere life).. But I would find ways to make them suffer to death,they don’t de sever to be sitting in jail living of tax payers..

  8. disguster says:

    I am fuckin ashamed of what I jus read……I am a 19 yr old dominican young lady and it pains my heart to c wat shame them rubbish bringin to my country………is it so hard to get a job………I bliv that they shud be killled bcuz they are dogs n shud b treated as such
    My sincere apology to the family……I am deeply sorry

  9. sweet says:

    Please hang those guys and bury them upside down

  10. sweet says:

    Please hang down guys and bury them upside down in the graves no caskets just throw their bodies in the hole.

  11. Quantico says:

    I am a Dominican living in another Man’s Country and I am so ashamed of what I just read about these 2 serial murderers and their most heinous crimes its ridiculous to say the least. I pride myself money or not for the sake of my Country, my fellow men and the local citizenry that I would never contemplated doing any such things like what these guys have done. I can imagine the pain and suffering that these victims families have to go through at this time and my heart and prayers goes out to them. I know there are a lot of decent Dominicans living all over the world I ask that the St. Maarten authorities to temper mercy on the decent and law abiding non nationals living there. The Judgement and punishment of life without parole to these criminals are just, they should never see the light of day again…Thanks so much and God Bless Saint Maarten, St. Martin and it’s people land of many opportunities.

  12. ham says:

    hang hang hang and more hang or kill dem

  13. Peter J says:

    Dominica does not need these two beasts. The only punishment for these two vagabons is to throw them into a lion’s den so they could taste the same pain that their victims encountered. Please sentence these two Rhinos to death so none of us won’t be threatened by these two monsters.

  14. Doc Arrindell says:

    Hi, I am shocked to read such things on the island but I am glad that they caught them and they should get the maximum punishment. The journalist who wrote the article, there is a thing called: checking what you wrote before publishing it! Terrible!

  15. please , god said vengence is his one , but in that case ; i would cut there dirty sex alive , i would compell then to eat it , and treat then the same way they treat them innocent , , them dirty dogs have no respect for other peoples country, , we dont w says:

    hang them

  16. please , god said vengence is hi s own , but in that case ; i would cut there dirty sex alive , i would compell then to eat it , and treat then the same way they treat them innocent , , them dirty dogs have no respect for other peoples country, , we dont says:

    hang them shame less dogs

  17. outraged says:

    My God ! ! These boys have committed some very heinous crimes..Cant understand how their capture was so long in coming. They really deserve the death penalty… but come to think of it , that would be too much of an easy way out..Torture and HARD LABOUR and LIFE IMPRISOMENT would probably do ..BUT PLEASE, PLEASE MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT ESCAPE JAIL and end up back in Dominica

  18. unbelievable says:

    I cannot believe that these boys would drag our poor Dominicans name into the dirt like that . this not only does that but give us lest opportunities to go anywhere in the world . i am so disappointed. i went school with sherwan and i am really disappointed.

  19. dandi says:

    Its just UNBELIEVABLE that these guys could commit one crime and THEN continue over and over again. I lived in SXM for a while and decided to leave in the early 90s because I always felt that Law Enforcement Officers or even those who are voted to pass LAWS to protect citizens were just NOT doing their jobs.I know of a woman who lost her only child to a car accident the car was driven by a dominican,who was previously deported returned to SXM was driving without a license of course and insurance too.Yes he was brought before the courts 2 days before his hearing he marry a dutch woman and today is walking the streets FREE.While SXM maybe a great tourist destination it seem to be a “nice” island with NO LAW and ORDER.

  20. Joan Francesc says:

    Lamentable que sucedan hechos espeluznantes como los supuestamente realizados por esos dos individuos.
    No tiene importancia de que pais son , tampoco la tiene desde luego sus motivos… Lo que si es importante resaltar es la poca o nula efectividad de las fuerzas de seguridad al no darse cuenta de la cantidad de posibles delincuentes que corren libres por las calles de SXM, ya sea la parte francesa o holandesa… Mas controles, mas expulsiones, tolerancia cero y rigurosidad y profesionalidad a la policia es justo pedirles por el dinero que reciben por sus obligaciones,que no son otras que velar por la seguridad de los habitantes y ciudadanos sean de donde sean.
    Para tanto policia que hay cobrando cada mes realmente el indice de inseguridad , robos y delitos es muy elevado.

  21. Steve says:

    The police should tie them to a tree and give all of the family members a knife and some salt and let everyone get even for these scum. I am a frequent visitor to St Martin and we always felt safe while vacationing there. I will continue to come because we love the St martin people and the Island. I will however be more aware of my surroundings

  22. VinnyTheBlade says:

    I am glad I found this article. I was planning to take my family on a vacation to St. Maarten….now I will never go there ever. These scumbags should be publicly executed…but of course I suppose the progressive idiots in charge of these banana republic countries would never allow such a thing.

  23. A Concerned Visitor to St. Maarten says:

    This is absolutely horrifying to read and it absolutely astounds me that these two thugs/murdererers/rapists were able to do so much harm to so many people.

    I pretty much agree with the post by “Steve” above and – although not the way I would normally think – in this case, I do believe that there should be a public hanging.

    After reading this, it will certainly make me think twice about coming back to St. Maarten… the beautiful island I have enjoyed several different times while on vacation.. not to mention the neighboring islands.

    This article should be brought to the attention of anyone planning their next vacation in St. Maarten/St. Martin so that people will know to be very aware of their surroundings at all times.

  24. Felix says:


    It be easier and more satisfyng to just take them to a field, hose them with gasoline and set them on fire as they scream and roll with the sounds of BURN BABY BURN on a juke box

  25. Rielle says:

    The lack of a death penalty on this island means psychopaths like these have even less reason to be concerned about committing murder. The prison on the Dutch side is too kind, Guadeloupe has the right idea.

  26. Jtmize says:

    I hate that this great island has let this happen. The King murders, restaurant robbers,rapes now this. The police and system is corrupt ,clean house and put a stop to the crime. The islands lively hood depends on it. We have been to most every spot mention in the crimes, and will no longer enjoy them the same. I am sad to say we will not be back. Your time is running out.

  27. tyson says:

    yea u see and them talk bout jamaicans not coming in they country because they bad in crime look at dominica bad mon dem sad fi dem family jamaican need visa to come there why dont they get visa for dominica to go there too

  28. Horrified says:

    This is the saddest account of the gruesome work of criminals I have ever read. I cannot but wonder however WHERE WERE THE POLICE from early in their attacks. There were witnesses when they attacked the woman and with weapons and the police made no arrest. Shame. I hope the judge does a better job than the police and make sure these heartless thugs are never released to the streets again

  29. jl says:

    I can understand but don’t get it!!!!

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