Snowball boy's killer gets 15 years
31 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — Rotterdam Court sentenced on Monday a 29-year-old man to 15 years jail for shooting and killing 13-year-old Sedar Soares after a snowball hit his vehicle in a city car park in 2003.
31 January 2005
AMSTERDAM — Rotterdam Court sentenced on Monday a 29-year-old man to 15 years jail for shooting and killing 13-year-old Sedar Soares after a snowball hit his vehicle in a city car park in 2003.
The defendant — identified only as Gerald H., of Rotterdam — was convicted of manslaughter. He denied the killing and his lawyer said an appeal will be lodged against the ruling.
The man was also convicted of illegal weapon possession and drug smuggling, charges that were not related to the killing itself. The sentence for these crimes is included in the 15-year jail term, news service nu.nl reported.
H. was arrested in April 2004 at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam attempting to smuggle 300g of cocaine into the country in his suitcase. He was later charged with the death of the schoolboy.
Sedar was throwing snowballs with friends at the car park of the Rotterdam metro station Slinge on 1 February 2003 when he was shot in the head. He died several hours later in hospital.
It was initially believed that Sedar had been shot because he was throwing snowballs at cars. Police later suspected that he had been killed in crossfire during a gangland gunbattle.
Witnesses claim that a man stepped out of a car and started shooting at the group of youths, hitting Sedar. The killing plunged Rotterdam into mourning. About 1,000 people later attended a special ceremony on the one-year anniversary of Sedar's death.
H. told the court that he got out of bed late on 1 February 2003 because he had been out the night before. He then took his pregnant girlfriend to her sister and visited a woman he had met the night before.
He claimed to have picked up his girlfriend and they went home together. That night, H. said his mother rang and told him about the shooting. He insists he was never present at the scene of the shooting
But the trial court ruled on Monday that H. aimed and fired directly at the boys. The presiding judge said that the court could not think of a more disproportionate reaction to innocent fun. It ruled that H. shot at the boys multiple times simply because his car was hit with a snowball, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
The public prosecutor was pleased with the ruling, asserting that H. was an aggressive and violent man who should be "behind bars".
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news