Court mitigates sentence seventh Vesuvius-suspect

POSTED: 03/21/14 7:03 PM

St. Maarten – Andrew Davis, the self-proclaimed advisor of gang leader Omar Jones found some sort of relief in the Common Court of Justice yesterday afternoon. Serving a 6-year prison sentence handed to him in the Court in First Instance and faced with a demand of 9 years by the prosecution on appeal, Davis was relieved to hear that his punishment is now down to 4 years. The now 32-year-old Davis was arrested with other gang members in November 2011 and he has been incarcerated ever since. If the verdict becomes irrevocable, Davis will qualify for early release in just a couple of months.

Davis is one of the seven suspects that stood trial in the Vesuvius-case in 2012. The Appeals Court acquitted him of complicity to the murders of Eric Lake and Kevin Gumbs on August 17, 2011, of the possession of a firearm in the period between April 17 and November 16, 2011, and of firing shots at Omax Bye and Kennedy Fergus on April 20, 2011 near the (former) Tan Tan supermarket in Dutch Quarter.

The court ruled that it is unclear how many gang members were involved in the murder of Lake and Gumbs and that there is no forensic evidence that links Davis to these murders. A hairdresser who initially said that Davis was keeping people at bay with a gun later denied she had made that statement. The court furthermore ruled that Davis’ role as a lookout on the day of the Tan Tan shooting is too far removed from the actual attempts on the lives of Bye and Fergus, and acquitted him of firing shots at them.

The court found however proof that Davis had a Mossberg 12-gauge hunting rifle and a .45 caliber automatic pistol in his possession on the day of his arrest, November 16, 2011. It found also proven that Davis had been a member of a criminal organization. The other members of this gang were Omar Jones, Carlos Richardson, Erno Labega Jr., Ekron Morgan, Doniel Thomas, Charles Fleming and the late Anthony Whyte.

Lastly, the court found Davis guilty of complicity to the attempt on the life of Omax Bye because he stood on the lookout, and because he bought four pre-paid phones the day before the shooting. The gang members used these phones to communicate.

The court considered Davis’ participation in the attempt on the life of Omax Bye as “an unacceptable form of vigilantism.”

On the plus side, Davis cooperated up to a point with the investigation. The court furthermore took into account that Davis spent a long time in a sober detention regime for his own safety and that – in spite of security measures – he was stabbed several times and that he was in a coma for several days afterwards.

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