Demand 21 years for seven attempted murders

POSTED: 08/12/15 4:05 PM

Prosecutor: “Police officers deserve special protection”

St. Maarten – “Police officers deserve special protection or they become the victim of criminal acts in the course of their duties,” Prosecutor Maarten Noordzij said yesterday morning in the trial against three defendants who stood accused of seven attempted murders and firearm possession. It sounded like a tribute to police officer Gamali Benjamin who was shot by armed robbers on Wednesday afternoon. And while Noordzij did make a fleeting reference to that shooting, the focus of this trial was on the rampage these defendants embarked upon after the pregnant girlfriend of one of them – 20-year old Deyanida Faynete – was killed in a shooting incident on March 18, 2014 in Dutch Quarter.

The victim’s bereaved boyfriend, 26-year-old Renald Reo R. hatched extensive plans with his partner in crime, 32-year-old Rolando Cecil Trevor A. to kill anyone who had had anything to do with the alleged killer of his girlfriend. In R.’s mind, Alexis R. and Brian and Terry B. are the ones who killed Faynete and he set out to hunt down these people and their friends.

Prosecutor Maarten Noordzij, who presented the case in court yesterday with fellow-prosecutor Gonda van der Wulp, demanded 21 years of imprisonment against R, aka Reo and A. aka Flamingo. A third defendant, 24-year-old Parbattie ‘Priya’ G., who is Flamingo’s girlfriend, is looking at 3 years of imprisonment for being an accessory in one of the attacks. The prosecutor asked the court to order G.’s arrest on the sentencing date if, indeed, the court arrives at a conviction for the young woman.

The prosecutor’s remark about the protection of police officers fits the case, because Flamingo fired shots at two female police officers when they came to arrest him on March 7 of this year at his home on Raspberry Road in St. Peters.

Flamingo fired shots over a wall at one officer from a distance of about one meter and the bullet just missed the officer’s head. He also fired shots at her colleague. The prosecution has qualified these events as attempted murder.

The shooting with the most serious consequences took place on July 24, 2014, when Flamingo and Renald R. drove up Zorg and Rust Road in Dutch Quarter towards Illidge Road where they spotted their target, Ronny Samuel Brown.

The two would-be killers were after Brown because, it appears from a witness statement, R. assumed that Brown knew about the plan to kill him and his girlfriend on March 18, 2014, but that he did not say anything about it. At one time, Brown was friends with Flamingo but that relationship tanked when Brown refused to help him killing someone.

Brown was talking to a girl called Sasha when the car approached. The girl smelled danger and shouted loot out, before running away. According to Brown, Renald R. shot him from the backseat of the car. The victim was hit in his back, hip, arm and elbow. He was flown in critical condition to Colombia for medical treatment but with limited results: “The lower part of his body is paralyzed and he will never be able to walk again,” Noordzij said.

Flamingo and Renald R. began their murderous spree two months after the death of Faynete. On May 16, 2014, R. fired shots at a passing car, but he did not manage to hit the driver, G.G. or his passenger, W.M.

On July 20, 2014 R. took aim at his next victims F.K. and his sister E.A. by firing shots at the window of a bedroom in their home on the Illidge Road. Parbattie charged as an accessory to this crime, because she lives across from the intended victims and provided her friends with information about the bedroom one of the victims used.

Four days later R.’s co-defendant Flamingo fired several shots at S.R.B. and J.M.P. and these targets also escaped with their lives.

A week later, on July 31, Renald R. made an attempt on the life of A.R. – again without success.

After this shooting incident things calmed down until February 28 of this year when Flamingo made a second attempt on the life of F.L., who was passing by on Illidge Road on a quad bike in  the company of his girlfriend J.M.

On March 7, Flamingo put the cream on the criminal cake by firing shots at the heads and body of two police officers.

It did not help him though, because he was arrested that day. Flamingo has quite a reputation in St. Maarten, for instance as a member of the Scary Movie Gang that terrorized the island in 2005 with a spate of armed robberies. He served 5.5 years for his role in the robberies this gang committed. In April 2007, he escaped from the Pointe Blanche prison during the Grand Carnival Parade, but he was recaptured and punished with an additional year behind bars.

The prosecutors put together a review of the crimes the defendants are accused of that runs 34 pages. It took until 1 p.m. to present the case to the court. In the afternoon the defense attorneys Safira Ibrahim (for Parbattie G.), Shaira Bommel for Renals R.) and Heert Hatzmann (for Rolando A.) made their pleas.

The court will pronounce all verdicts on Thursday August 27.

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