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Florida Resident Faces Extradition to Sint Maarten On Murder Charges, U.S. Attorney Says

ORLANDO — Dutch authorities are working with U.S. officials to extradite a Florida man who they say shot two people on Sint Maarten, injuring one and killing another, according to a motion filed by U.S. District Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez.

According to the motion, Sint Maarten authorities were called to the Andrew Canes Apartments of the Cole Bay area of the Dutch side of the island on January 29 in reference to a shooting.

Authorities said two people were shot during the incident, but only one victim was found with a bullet wound to the leg; the victim was taken to the hospital, treated and released, according to the motion.

The next day, authorities were alerted that the second victim from the shooting was taken to a local hospital with at least four bullet wounds, and ultimately died from their injuries, officials said in the motion.

The motion showed that the surviving victim was able to tell authorities that they heard what sounded like several shots fired inside one of the apartments in the complex on the night of the incident, then saw two people emerge from the home.

The victim said at this point, a man with a black gun fired twice in his direction, hitting him in the calf. He told authorities he believed he saw three people inside the apartment in total.

The girlfriend of the victim who died from their injuries told authorities “two men pointed guns at her and (her boyfriend). The men attempted to tie up (her boyfriend) with a pillowcase and got into a struggle with him.”

The girlfriend then fled to the bathroom where she heard gunshots. She then told authorities she went outside and found her boyfriend lying on the ground, but the suspect had already run away, according to the motion.

Authorities were able to obtain surveillance video of the area surrounding the apartment complex and said they used the video to identify Pierre Leopold Margas of Palm Bay as being involved in the shooting incident.

“These officers were familiar with Margas’s appearance because of previously meeting him while on duty on the island, and they recognized Margas’s facial profile, posture, and tattoos on his arm and neck. The officers also identified a 2015 arrest photo as depicting Margas,” the motion read.

Authorities said Margas did not have a license to carry a firearm in St. Maarten.

“Sint Maarten authorities were unable to locate Margas in Sint Maarten; however, they received information indicating that he traveled to Anguilla, and from there to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands on approximately February 10, 2020. U.S. authorities have confirmed that in March 2020, he traveled to Orlando, Florida,” the motion read.

According to the motion, Margas was arrested on Monday and the Kingdom of the Netherlands sought extradition on charges of co-perpetrating murder/manslaughter and attempted murder/manslaughter. Magras is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and is being held at an undisclosed jail.

Dutch authorities argued that Margas is a flight risk. The motion stated that the U.S. requested he “be detained pending resolution of this extradition proceeding.”

Maria Chapa Lopez serves as the United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

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