Man who shot pregnant woman in stomach is sentenced to 18 years

Man who shot pregnant woman in  stomach is sentenced to 18 years

Police officers escorting suspect Elliz Cle Calis into the Courthouse on Wednesday morning.

 PHILIPSBURG--The Court of First Instance on Wednesday sentenced a thirty-year-old man to eighteen years imprisonment for shooting a pregnant woman in her belly on Boxing Day, December 26, 2021.

  The woman’s unborn baby did not survive the shooting. She also lost her uterus in the attack.

  Suspect Elliz Cle Calis was found guilty of attempted murder in the shooting, and of attempted manslaughter as he had tried to strangulate the woman one day prior to the shooting. He was also found guilty of possession of a firearm.

  The victim in this case was awarded US $50,000 for medical cost, the maximum allowed for damages in a criminal procedure. In case Cle Calis does not pay damages, he will have to spend an additional 285 days in prison, the judge stated in the verdict.

  “One thing is clear in this case, the victim had to die on December 26 … The suspect tried to do this on two occasions: first by strangulation and then by shooting her dead,” the prosecutor said during the trial hearing of November 4. “He wanted the victim dead. ‘I’m going to kill you’,” the prosecutor quoted the defendant as telling the victim. In the prosecutor’s opinion, these crimes merited a prison sentence of 23 years.

  In a WhatsApp message to the victim’s sister, Cle Calis had sworn on his daughter’s life that he would kill his ex-partner because she was a “whore”.

  On two occasions, the suspect attempted to kill his ex-girlfriend, also his daughter’s mother, because he could not accept that she was seeing a man with whom he had problems. The first time he visited her unexpectedly at night and tried to strangle her in her own home.

  Later that day, around midday, the suspect tried to kill the victim by shooting at her five times outside Esperanza bar on Basseterre Road in Middle Region. The woman miraculously survived the attack, in which she lost her unborn baby of 18 weeks.

  During the court hearing, attorney-at-law Sjamira Roseburg pleaded with the court to acquit her client of the murder and manslaughter charges and to only consider mistreatment and firearm possession proven. According to the lawyer, her client was confused and acted on a whim.

  The verdict in this case came two days before November 25 – the beginning of the United Nations 16 Days of Activism in connection with the elimination of violence against women and girls. These 16 days commence on Friday, November 25, ending on December 10, which is World Human Rights Day.

  Against this backdrop, the Prosecutor’s Office OM SXM noted that “this very extraordinary case” highlights the growing problem of relational (domestic) violence.

  “Relational violence, whether directed at women, children or men (as they too can be victims), has social and physiological impacts on the community as a whole. Children can also be victims just by witnessing the violent behaviour at home and are in that way more likely to become relational violence perpetrators or victims themselves later in life. Both the home environment and the streets can feel unsafe for those facing the horror of abuse in any of its forms,” the Prosecutor’s Office said in a press release.

‘Blue Waters’

  In the ongoing “Blue Waters” case, the accused is suspected of attacking the victim on July 31, 2022. The suspect was hiding in the victim’s car, revealing himself only to severely stab and cut her all over her body and throat. She narrowly survived the incident. The suspect is still locked up. The trial hearing in this case is set for March 1, 2023.

  The police and the OM are confronted frequently with cases of relational violence covering all forms of relationships and situations. These frequent occurrences are one of the reasons the OM and the Probation Office joined forces against relational violence in the Domestic Violence and Mediation Project, made possible by Resources for Community Resilience R4CR.

  “With support from police, mediation is introduced in cases where this could be helpful. Mediation does not remove the prosecution, but it lays the groundwork for all parties in the case to resolve any differences and helps prevent the perpetrator from reoffending. Due to the project, perpetrators can get behaviour training via the Safe Homes Training on St. Maarten,” the OM said.

Safe Homes Training

  On November 9, a suspect was sentenced to a partly conditional jail sentence and Safe Homes Training for physically abusing his girlfriend in a hotel in Simpson Bay on September 16, 2022.

  This training is also voluntarily accessible to any families or relations that struggle with domestic violence and want help. In the coming weeks, the police, the OM and the Probation Office will host a relational violence workshop for police officers.

  “There is simply no excuse for relational violence. It is harmful to the individual, the family and the community. OM SXM urges all to think before acting out. A simple act can change the life of everyone involved,” the OM said.

The Daily Herald

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