Girl gets eight years for Middle Region stabbing

POSTED: 11/14/13 12:29 PM

Co-defendant acquitted of all charges

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced 17-year-old Shanieska Alisia Brooks to 8 years imprisonment for murdering Kimberly Samantha Illidge on March 23 in Middle Region. The court acquitted her co-defendant Eric J.J. of all charges. At the trial on October 23, the prosecution demanded 10 years against Brooks, and a 5-year conditional prison sentence plus 180 hours of community service against Eric J.

The court considered proven that Brooks intentionally and with premeditation stabbed her victim in the chest “after calm consideration.” The evidence against the teenager is based amongst others on a message she sent with her Blackberry that stated (in edited version): “If you don’t see me reply in 30 minutes call my father because this girl wants to fight with me. I have a knife and I am not backing down, so it is either me or she who is getting stabbed tonight babe.”

The defendant told investigators that on the night of the stabbing she had gone to the house of her co-defendant Eric J. who told her that “Kimberly was hyping up all day against her.” When the boy asked her if she wanted a knife she said yes. Eric J. provided Brooks with a knife. When she walked later towards “the tamarind tree at the entrance of Middle Region” she passed Illidge’s house. The girl came outside and a fight ensued, whereby the two girls grabbed each other’s hair and whereby Brooks in the end administered the fatal stab wounds to her 20-year-old adversary.

The court ruled that the Blackberry-messages Brooks sent that evening confirm that she was consciously looking for a confrontation with her victim. The two girls were at war with each other already for some time and on the day of the stabbing there was a venomous exchange via Blackberry-messages and also per phone.

The court rejected the defense-argument that the Blackberry-messages were written in street lingo and that they therefor came across more brutally than intended. This was untrue for the message in which she told someone to call her father if she did not send another message in thirty minutes. The court furthermore ruled that Brooks had sought the confrontation and that, when she approached the victim’s house, she had kept the knife out of sight behind her back. Therefore, the court also rejected the defense-argument of self-defense.

The court followed an assessment by youth psychiatrist Ferrero that Brooks is in a state of somewhat diminished accountability. The court sentenced Brooks under adult law. The court took the defendant’s young age into account but did not give an opinion about her contested detention conditions, because there is still a procedure in process.

In the case of Eric J. the court ruled that he is not guilty of complicity or being an accessory in the murder. The court acquitted the teenager therefor of all charges. The court ruled that J. gave Brooks a knife to defend herself. “The motive of the defendant was to enable the other to defend herself in a reaction against possible aggressive behavior of a third party.”

The court noted that Brooks had not send her infamous “30-minute”-message to Eric J. and that he therefore did not know that she had the intention to be the aggressor.

The court found no evidence that Eric J. had behaved in such a way during the fight that he had encouraged Brooks to fight Illidge. Some witnesses had stated that Eric J. has pushed Brooks towards her victim, while others saw that he attempted to separate the fighting girls and to put an end to the fight.

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