“Personally, I’m happy they reached a guilty verdict. Emotionally, it raises a lot more questions than it answers.” (Richard Jefferson)
Four French nationals on St. Maarten were convicted of beating two gay American tourists with tire irons. One victim Ryan Smith, an employee of the CBS News show 48 Hours suffered brain damage while the other victim, Dick Jefferson, had his skull cracked. The four men were sentenced to three to six years for the crime. The comments of Dick Jefferson regarding this crime mentioned later sound like a educational tool for Caribbean islands like Aruba and the rest.
Three citizens of the island’s French half — Glen Cockly, Micheline Delaney and Allan Daniel — and a man from the nearby French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, Michel Javois, were found guilty of public violence and grievous bodily harm by Judge Jan Bosch.
Bosch determined that Javois, nicknamed “Duracell,” was the one who assailed Smith and Jefferson — who are employees of CBS News in New York — with a tire iron as they left a bar with friends on April 6 while vacationing in St. Maarten.
Javois, who led the others in the attack, received a six-year prison sentence, while Cockly and Daniel got three-year terms.
“They received the lesser amount because they kicked and threw punches but did not use the tire iron in the attack,” Stein said.
Delaney, who was accused of kicking one of the victims while he was on the ground, will spend six months incarcerated. Stein said she tried to stop the attack and had expressed remorse.
Following the decision by the court, Dick Jefferson criticized and questioned the ruling of the court. All a long Jefferson stated that this was a “hate crime”.
“It was because we were gay. Period. There is no question,” said Smith, 26. “I really hope that anybody who knows about this case doesn’t simply write it off as … public violence.
Jefferson issues the following statement regarding the incident and court ruling in St. Maarten. Actually, the entire Caribbean … namely Aruba should take a good look and read what this American tourist had to say. It sounds hauntingly familiar.
“The people of St. Maarten should also ask whether the sentence sends the clear message that if you wrongly attack visitors, the punishment for endangering the island’s lifeblood will be steep,” Jefferson said. “Also, does today’s sentence soothe the anxiety of visitors who now worry if they will be treated fairly should they become a victim of a crime?”