Chucky throws a tantrum and gets cuffed in courtPOSTED: 01/12/12 4:00 PM
Robbery and kidnapping suspects face 6 to 8 years
St. Maarten – Commotion erupted in the courthouse yesterday shortly after noon when 21-year-old Omar Nelson, aka Chucky jumped from his chair, started moving his long arms around like a madman and told the court in an expletive-laced tirade that he had had enough. Guards surrounded the suspect quickly and quietly and cuffed his hands behind his back after Judge mr. M. Keppels calmly announced that it was okay for him to leave if he so desired.
Nelson, who is gaining more notoriety with every court appearance, was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment last year for his role in a string of violent armed robberies. One of these robberies, on October 16, 2010 in Maho, cost 45-year-old Dutchman Wouter Jan Romeijn his life.
Yesterday, Chucky was on trial together with the 19-year-old twins Roberto and Ronaldo B. and 32-year-old Louella Azucencia F. for robbery and kidnapping – a crime that took place on August 18 of last year.
While the other three suspects kept their calm, Chucky kept clowning around throughout the hearing, mumbling and softly signing to himself with his head bent down, pulling his tee shirt over the lower part of his face and at times sagging down in his chair to the point where he was practically lying down.
The circus did not impress Judge Keppels, though attorneys for the other defendants shook their heads at times in dismay. Chucky, who escaped from prison on March 19 of last year to stay on the lam for a record of 162 days, was arrested again shortly after the August 18 robbery and he has been behind bars ever since. He will have to reappear in court for the escape on March 7.
He did not help his case by saying at a certain moment to the Judge in an attempt to deny his involvement: “I don’t like witnesses. If I had been involved the man would have been dead.”
Later his attorney mr. Bert Hofman described his client’s behavior as follows: “I am Chucky. I escaped from prison. That’s his attitude.”
To make matters worse for himself and in what probably was an attempt to gain more street cred among the prison population where he will spend almost as many years as he is old, Chucky engaged in friendly banter with the twins sitting next to him, smiling all the way like he was having a real good time.
Prosecutor mr. Doenia Benammar put a dent in Chucky’s good mood by demanding an 8-year prison sentence against him. She demanded 6 years against Roberto B. and Louella F. and 7 years against Ronaldo B. The latter’s sentence was one year higher for his alleged involvement in another robbery that took place on February 14 of last year. Judge mr. M. Keppels will pronounce the verdicts on February 1.
mr. Benammar said later that the 25 percent higher demand against Chucky is “not disproportionate for somebody who was just sentenced to 18 years for a robbery that cost someone his life.”
Judge Keppels read from the case file that Louella F. had a beef with robbery victim Short. “He owed me money and he was not paying. I was very upset,” she told the court. F. is the alleged initiator of the robbery. Late at night on August 18 of last year she went to his house, accompanied by the twins and Chucky. The woman had contacted the twins, who are her cousins and they in turn brought Chucky into the action.
But the plan to rob Short at his home fell through when Louella F. discovered that his girlfriend was staying at the house. She allegedly sent text messages to her partners in crime saying that Short would take her to Dutch Quarter and that they had to block Nazareth Road with their car. That plan also backfired because the victim overtook his assailants, who then drove their car into the back of Short’s vehicle. When he got out of the car, either Chucky or Ronaldo B. attacked him. They tied his hands behind his back, covered his face with duct tape and took from him a wallet containing $20, identity papers, credit cards, bank cards, a gift card and a GPS system.
The robbers drove around with their victim in the back of the car for more than four hours. An attempt to withdraw money with his bankcard failed, because the ATM swallowed the card. Near daybreak, the robbers left Short behind in his car near The Cockpit in Dutch Quarter.
Louella F. was arrested on August 24, and after she started talking, Omar Nelson was recaptured on August 29 and the twins were taken into custody on September 6.
Prosecutor Benammar considered the charges against all defendants proven. “Louella F. attempts to minimize her role in the violence that took place, but that does not work. She made the plan, she sent the text messages, she used the bank card and she did not distance herself from the violence. All this took more than four hours; she implicitly accepted the violence.”
Attorney mr. Shaira Bommel said that she had personally witnessed a conversation between the twins and Chucky after the previous court hearing on November 16 of last year. The three defendants talked about how to sync their statements to make it look like Louella F. was the robbery’s mastermind, Bommel said, adding that her client had gotten second thoughts about the robbery after finding out that her target’s girlfriend was at home and that she denied having sent any text messages. “She only had contact with Ronaldo B. and did not even know who Chucky was,” Bommel said. “My client is not responsible for the actions of the other defendants.” She asked the court to acquit Louella F.
mr. Z.J. Bary downplayed the role of her clients Roberto and Ronaldo F. and referred to the psychiatric report about Roberto and the psychological report about his brother. Roberto is a client of the Mental Health Foundation and he is under medication
mr. Bert Hofman noted that it is hard to say what his client Omar Nelson did or did not do. “I am surprised about the high demand. I do not see what makes my client more punishable than the others. This was not his plan. He got involved because they apparently needed a car.”
Hofman also pointed out that the victim had not implicated Nelson in the robbery. He asked the court to carefully consider his clients role, even though, he said, “it does not help that he refuses to talk and his behavior also does not invite to be favorable disposed towards him.
Ronaldo B. stood also accused of robbing an American tourist on the Boardwalk on February 14 of last year, but he denied any involvement in court yesterday. The tourist was attacked by two men who threw him on the ground and hit and kicked him, breaking his hearing aid in the process. The robbers managed to steal the man’s wallet, but when the victim’s wife started fighting them they took off. Ronaldo returned to the scene later on because he had dropped his passport. He was arrested on the spot by police officers who had been called to the scene. The robbers stole $250 from the wallet, which was later found back complete with its remaining content of credit cards and driving license. Ronaldo B. claimed that he witnessed the robbery and walked away from the scene, only to discover shortly afterwards that he had lost his passport.