The V.I. Dept. of Justice announced Tuesday night that a St. Thomas Superior Court jury found 39-year-old Russell Moolenaar guilty of murder on September 29 for the 2019 shooting death of 23-year-old Bariki George. Moolenaar faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole for his crime.
Moolenaar was charged with first-degree murder, unauthorized possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, and unauthorized possession of firearm ammunition.
After a 3-day trial, the VI DOJ prosecution team proved to the jury that on March 20, 2019, Moolenaar shot and killed his co-worker, Bariki George.
According to an affidavit, the homicide occurred at approximately 8:00 a.m. at Viking Corporation, a shipping and moving company on St. Thomas. On that morning, police were called by someone from the company who reported that a male employee had been shot in the break room of the business.
At the scene, police found George, who had sustained several gunshot wounds on his body. Emergency medical technicians were present on the scene and found no vital signs. After witness statements during the investigation, Moolenaar who was also an employee of the company, was apprehended by police and placed under arrest.
VI DOJ Assistant Attorneys General Kimberly Riley and John Barraco represented the people of the Virgin Islands. They were assisted by the V.I. Police Department, including Sgt. Mario Stout, Ofc. Ecedro Lindquist and Detective Vernon Carr.
V.I. Attorney General Denise George commended the assistant attorneys general who prosecuted the case and the VIPD detectives for a job well done.
“Justice has finally been served. I commend our DOJ prosecution team and truly hope this sentencing provides some degree of comfort and closure to the family, friends, coworkers, classmates, teammates and coaches of Bariki George,” the attorney general said. “A few years before his death, this young man was recognized as a standout student/athlete at The Ivanna Eudora Kean High School and was also a member of The Cheetahs Track Club. He was a medalist as a member of the Virgin Islands National Leeward Islands Junior Track and Field Team that competed in the British Virgin Islands. These noteworthy achievements will always be remembered.”