Suspect acquitted in 2011 rip-deal case

PHILIPSBURG--The Joint Court of Justice on Tuesday acquitted a 32-year-old man suspected of involvement in the shooting and killing of Luis “Raul” Cuevas (41) during a violent robbery on Boxing Day, December 26, 2011.
 
  A request for the acquittal of suspect B.G.H. was presented to the Joint Court of Justice by Acting Solicitor General Anton van der Schans during a hearing held on April 6. The Solicitor General said the request for the acquittal of suspect B.G.H. followed that of his co-defendant R.W., who was already acquitted on appeal by the Joint Court in the same case, on November 25, 2015.
 
  The Prosecutor’s Office did not bring W.’s case before the High Court in The Hague, which rendered the acquittal irrevocable, Van der Schans said.
 
  The Court of First Instance held R.W. for Cuevas’ killer and sentenced him to 11 years and six months, but he appealed the verdict of June 18, 2015. On that same date, co-defendant B.G.H. was sentenced in absentia to 27 months.
 
  Cuevas, an alleged drug dealer of Dominicano descent, was shot dead outside his home on Welfare Road in an alley in the vicinity of Ace hardware store. He sustained shots in his abdomen, collapsed face down and died on the spot in what is believed to have been a rip-deal involving money and cocaine.
 
  In its conclusion, the Appeals Court stated that there were “indications” that R.W. may have been involved in the armed robbery. However, the Court did not find any convincing evidence in the case file that he had been Cuevas’ killer. It was, therefore, not held for impossible that somebody else had committed the crime.
 
  There may have been contact via telephone between R.W. and B.G.H. shortly after the liquidation, but this did not alter the Appeals Court’s conclusion.
 
  As the main suspect in this case had been irrevocably acquitted of all charges, the Appeals Court agreed with the Prosecutor’s office that his alleged accessory should also be acquitted.
 
  Attorney-at-law Geert Hatzmann obviously had no objections to the Prosecutor’s Office’s position in his client’s case.
  B.G.H. was not present Tuesday to hear a judge read out the decision in his case. Earlier this month, his lawyer said his client had chosen not to appear in Court. He was no longer held in pre-trial detention.
 
The Daily Herald

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