Man on trial for shooting at Arrest Team members

PHILIPSBURG--A 33-year-old man stood trial Wednesday for firing shots at two members of the Police Arrest Team. The Prosecutor called for six years, but suspect C.B.G. tried to convince the Judge he had not been aware he had fired at the Police, as he thought he was the victim of an armed robbery.
 
C.B.G. was one of four persons arrested June 30, 2015, around 4:00am, during a raid at a house on Accordion Drive in Cay Bay.
 
Police officers had raided several homes in the wee hours based on ongoing investigations into several cases of drug trafficking, firearm possession and armed robbery based on information gathered by the Detective Special Robbery Unit. The Police Arrest Team assisted in the raid due to the danger involved.
 
Although two shots were fired at the Arrest Team, the team managed to execute G.’s arrest without returning fire. G.’s wife M.D.G. (34) was also arrested. Her trial was postponed Wednesday until a later date. Both husband and wife are suspected of illegal firearm possession and of possession of 77 grams of marijuana.
 
According to the defendant, he had been the victim of a rip deal sometime before the incident. He said he had panicked when he heard that someone was trying to ram in the front door of his house on June 30. As it was pitch dark outside he could not see who it was and the persons did not identify themselves.
 
As he thought he was the victim of another robbery, he, his wife, and their three children took shelter in a bedroom corner towards the back of the house, from which he fired a gunshot into the floor near the front door. The gun he had bought for his protection shortly before the incident, he informed the Court.
 
“I was scared after the previous incident and I could not think straight,” G. said in attempting to explain his actions. “I did not know who was outside...I shot in the hope they would run and not come inside,” he added. “I had no intention to shoot at the Police or to harm them,” he said at the end of his trial.
 
G. allegedly is a known drug dealer in the area, but the defendant claimed he is “just a heavy smoker.”
 
He stated he had been robbed by five armed and masked men, who had tied him up and beaten him. They had been wearing Police uniforms and had identified themselves as Police and had robbed him at gunpoint.
 
“I did not go to the Police to report the crime as I was scared they would come after me for a second time. I was scared from then on and did not trust anybody,” G. said.
 
After the June shooting, the Police found a firearm with ammunition on the floor in one of the bedrooms. A shell with a piece of wood attached to it was found on the outside porch.
 
The mechanic by profession remained in pre-trial detention until December 16, 2015, when his preliminary detention was suspended. He stated he is undergoing ambulatory psychiatric treatment since the incident.
 
The Prosecutor’s Office considered all charges, including attempted manslaughter, proven. Prosecutor Van Nes confirmed that the drug dealer of repute had been the victim of a rip deal, but said there was no evidence that the robbers had been posing as Police officers.
 
“The defendant is playing innocent, but the Arrest Team Members were at risk of losing their lives while attempting to enter his home,” the Prosecutor said, adding that he would want to see the defendant behind bars soon.
Attorney Cor Merx used plastic water cups and the Courtroom’s walls in his attempt to prove to the Judge that the shots fired by his client could not have been aimed at the front door.
 
The lawyer said he disagreed with the Prosecutor’s position in this case. Merx said the case against his client, who is no drug dealer, should be thrown out and his client acquitted of all charges for lack of evidence. The Court will give its decision June 15.
 
The Daily Herald

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