PHILIPSBURG--Jean Joek Michel Jerome Hodge (35) was sentenced to five years in prison for involvement in a stabbing incident at a carwash/bar in Dutch Quarter around 11:15pm on August 19, 2022.
Hodge was found guilty of attempted manslaughter, as the judge in the Court of First Instance found it legally and convincingly proven that he had cut his victim several times in his face with a knife.
The victim was seriously injured. He sustained six wounds to his head and face, which required 15 stitches and caused permanent scars.
The suspect was arrested one day later. He had the knife in his pocket. The weapon had traces of blood on it. Nevertheless, Hodge denied he was the stabber. The owner of the carwash claimed he had taken the knife and put it in his car during an attempt to break up a fight between two men on the street outside his business.
However, according to the judge, there were no statements in the case file to support the suspect’s statement.
The victim told the police that he had been attacked suddenly while he was dancing with a woman. He said he had never had problems with his assailant before and assumed he had been attacked out of jealousy.
Despite a very extensive criminal record filled with primarily violent crimes dating back to 2016, Hodge claimed he had bettered his life after his last conviction in 2020. He told the court has a girlfriend, who is expecting their child.
The victim, who was enjoying a night out, was “horribly” mistreated, said the prosecutor, who considered attempted manslaughter proven. For this crime he demanded a prison sentence of six years and the suspect’s immediate detention.
Hodge, who was not represented by a lawyer, responded in dismay to the prosecutor’s demand. “This is totally wrong. I cannot do the time because I did not do the crime. I’m totally innocent. I want to continue with my life,” he said.
The court found him guilty of attempted manslaughter, based on the statements given by the victim and two witnesses, and based on the knife which was found in the suspect’s clothes. The judge did not order Hodge’s immediate detention.
Parties have two weeks to file an appeal. The judge advised the suspect to consult a lawyer and to “think carefully.”