PHILIPSBURG–Mentally-ill Dalton D. le Blanc was sentenced to 15 years on Wednesday for killing a two-month-old baby on April 2.
During the September 25 hearing, which revealed many gruesome details of the murder, prosecutor Karola van Nie requested that the Court sentence the Dominican defendant to 20 years and put him at the government’s disposal, or TBR, as it is called in Dutch.
The baby, identified as Mark Anthony Reid Jr., was found dead in the middle of Middle Region Road. Le Blanc had snatched the child from his home, where it had been sleeping. He had swung the child recklessly, finally dropping him on the road in front of police officers who had rushed to the scene.
The Court found it proven that Le Blanc had forcefully hit or thrown the baby’s head and rump against a hard surface and mutilated its body with pieces of broken glass.
The Court acquitted the defendant of murder, because it could not be proven that he had acted after “calm reflection and quiet consultation.”
The defendant had told Judge Koos van de Ven he had received instructions from God to enter the baby’s house and kill it because it was evil. “God pointed me to a house. He then told me to go inside. The door was locked. I broke the window with my fist and opened the door from inside. God told me to go to a room. He then pointed me to the baby on the bed. God then told me to pick him up and go outside with him. I dropped the baby on the ground and placed the Bible on top of him or her,” he had told the police.
The child’s mother saw the bare-chested intruder breaking into her darkened house. She managed to leave her house and called for help with the landlady, but could not prevent the violent attack on her screaming child.
In a psychiatric evaluation, it was stated the defendant “has been reeling under frank psychosis at the time of the commission of the crime” and is suffering of “a severe mental disorder in terms of paranoid schizophrenia.”
Because of his mental disease, the defendant was to be held less accountable for his acts, the psychiatrist stated. “His belief systems are of morbid origin [due to the disease process – Ed.] and despite the fact that he did acknowledge the wrongfulness of the act of killing the infant, the nature of his delusions and hallucinatory experiences could likely have impaired his insight and judgement to make a connection between the act being likely prohibited and the wrongfulness of the act,” the psychiatrist said in his report.
“It is therefore relevant to indicate that the client had diminished responsibility or accountability as far as the nature of the act is concerned,” according to the psychiatrist, whose recommendations were accepted by the Court.
The prosecutor had requested the Court to impose TBR to allow for the defendant’s treatment at a forensic hospital or institution, for example, but the Judge said this is not possible under current law.
Articles to this effect were added to the penal code by national ordinance in May 1954, but were never implemented by the Governor as required, the Judge stated. Under current law, TBR can only be imposed on juveniles younger than 18.
Judge Van de Ven said it was “a great loss” the Court was unable to impose TBR on Le Blanc. He said there will be no guarantees he will be in a better mental condition after his release from prison.
TBR is included in the new penal code. The Judge said it was the legislature’s responsibility to prioritise in giving TBR force of law.