Prosecution appeals in Menam case
PHILLIPSBURG - The Court of First Instance ruled against the defendants R. D., J. L., M.H.A. and O.A.C. in the Menam case. It is an investigation into an armed robbery that was committed in broad daylight on August 5, 2015 at Oro Diamante jewelery shop on Front Street. Police officer Gamali Benjamin was shot that day while exercising his duties and died of the injuries he sustained. Also the police officer Carty was shot at.
The Court of First Instance sentenced the main suspects R. D. and J.L. to prison terms of 20 and 8 years, respectively, with deduction of the time spent in custody. Against R.D. the prosecution had demanded life imprisonment and for J.L. a prison sentence of 25 years.
The Prosecutor’s Office is disappointed and does not agree with these rulings. The Prosecutor’s Office has lodged an appeal against the verdicts of the two main suspects. In the opinion of the prosecution the penalties do not reflect that it concerns a police officer who was shot instantly when he tried to stop the robbery.
In the case of J.L. the Prosecutor’s Office disagrees with the sentence and with acquittal of a number of facts in the indictment such as qualified homicide and attempted qualified homicide.
Regarding the co-suspects M.H.A. and O.A.C. who respectively received 2.5 years in prison and acquittal, the Prosecutor’s Office has these sentences still under consideration and has 14 days to decide whether to also appeal against those verdicts.