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St. Thomas Resident Causes Multiple Collisions in Police Pursuit

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ST. THOMAS — Kenneth Rogers found himself entangled in a web of legal troubles after what began as a minor traffic infringement for neglecting to wear a seatbelt took a dangerous turn into a rapid police pursuit, leading to several accidents on Sunday. The scene unfolded as officers were conducting routine traffic inspections on Turpentine Roadway.

As court records detail, Rogers was seen piloting a white Chevrolet Malibu in a westerly direction on Turpentine Roadway, notably without a seatbelt. As a patrol officer approached Rogers’ vehicle, intent on advising him to fasten his seatbelt, Rogers responded by hastily making an unsanctioned U-turn and accelerating away. Another patrol officer quickly joined the pursuit, catching up with Rogers near the Havensight district.

With apparent disregard for the blaring sirens and warning lights, Rogers persisted in his attempt to evade the police. He dashed through Veteran’s Drive, proceeding to the Moravian highway. Along his hasty path, Rogers collided with several vehicles: a Toyota Tacoma, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV-4 near the Territorial Management Agency premises. He further caused accidents on Julian Jackson Drive, involving a Ford F-150, Jeep Wrangler, and Kia Rio.

A dramatic twist followed when, after the collision with the Kia Rio, an unidentified male in a yellow top and navy shorts emerged from the passenger side of the Malibu and vanished from the scene. It was only after this that Rogers yielded to police demands, allowing officers to detain him. A subsequent search of his vehicle revealed a green leafy substance and a digital scale among other items.

Further investigation highlighted Rogers’ reckless behavior, including running multiple red lights during the pursuit. The Chevrolet Malibu, which wasn’t registered under Rogers’ name, was towed from the incident site. Consequently, Rogers faced charges of reckless endangerment and resisting arrest. Given his inability to post the set $30,000 bail, he was entrusted to the Bureau of Corrections.

In a subsequent court session on Monday, Magistrate Simone VanHolten-Turnbull saw sufficient grounds to validate both charges laid against Rogers. She authorized a 5 percent cash deposit of the total bail for possible release. Should Rogers gain freedom before his trial, he would be limited to the St. Thomas/St. John district with stringent conditions such as adhering to a curfew and proving employment.

Moreover, Magistrate VanHolten-Turnbull mandated the V.I. Police Department to supply body camera footage concerning the incident to both legal parties.

Kenneth Rogers is set for another courtroom appearance on October 6.

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Crime

Swift Justice: Fugitive Duo Nabbed at St. Thomas Airport En Route to Mainland

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At Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas, vigilant Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials thwarted the escape efforts of two fugitives attempting to flee to the mainland, underscoring the effectiveness of our law enforcement agencies in keeping our communities safe.

Jasmine Cherie Sheppard’s plan to evade the law came to a halt on a serene Sunday afternoon. As she navigated through the checkpoint, aiming for an American Airlines flight to Miami, the advanced security systems sounded the alert. An outstanding arrest warrant for Sheppard, hailing from Louisiana, was confirmed active by Fort Bend County, Texas authorities, leading to her immediate arrest on charges of being a fugitive from justice.

The diligence of CBP officers continued to shine mere hours later when Taheim James Hart became the focus of their unwavering attention. With an active warrant from Hudson County, New Jersey, Hart’s intentions of boarding a Delta Airlines flight bound for New York were swiftly curtailed. Like Sheppard, Hart was arrested and charged as a fugitive from justice, with both individuals being promptly remanded to await their respective advice of rights hearings.

The swift actions of the officials at Cyril E. King Airport not only prevented these individuals from potentially evading justice but also demonstrated the unyielding resolve of our law enforcement to protect and serve. Magistrate Simone VanHolten-Turnbull presided over the initial appearances for both Sheppard and Hart. Sheppard is set to return to court on March 19, with Hart’s follow-up hearing pending scheduling. These events serve as a stark reminder of the relentless pursuit of justice within the Virgin Islands, ensuring that those who seek to escape the law are held accountable for their actions.

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Crime

Attempt to Sell Stolen Property Back to Owner Leads to Arrest in St. Thomas

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In a bold turn of events on St. Thomas, John David Turnick Jr. faces serious legal repercussions after attempting to sell a stolen power inverter back to its original owner. The incident unfolded at Neomi’s Car Wash on February 14, drawing immediate attention from local law enforcement.

The saga began when the proprietor of a neighboring mechanic shop reported to the police that her Nissan Pathfinder had been burglarized a few days prior, with several items missing, while it was left unlocked. On Valentine’s Day, she encountered a man attempting to sell her a power inverter. Upon inspection, she identified it as her property, pilfered from her vehicle earlier, promptly reclaiming it and contacting the authorities.

John David Turnick Jr., identified as the individual attempting the sale, was apprehended by police. He initially confessed to the act of trying to sell the power inverter, alongside admitting to possessing additional stolen items from the same vehicle, including a speaker, flashlights, and a hammer. However, later at the Ancilmo Marshall Command Police Station, Turnick altered his account, claiming he had acquired the items from an unnamed third party.

Turnick’s arrest followed swiftly, with charges of possession of stolen property levied against him. Despite the charges, he was unable to meet the $25,000 bail set and was consequently detained.

During a court hearing, Magistrate Yolan Brow Ross confirmed the gravity of the charges, endorsing the bail amount. Pending his release, Turnick faces house arrest, monitored electronically, awaiting the resolution of his case.

His subsequent court date is slated for March 6, marking the next chapter in this unusual case of theft and attempted resale to the unwitting victim.

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Crime

St. Croix Woman Faces Legal Consequences for Selling Public Housing Appliance

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A significant legal issue has emerged within the Walter I.M. Hodge Pavilion, a public housing community on St. Croix, following allegations against a former resident. The individual is now facing serious felony charges for purportedly selling a refrigerator, an asset of the housing unit, highlighting the critical importance of respecting property rights within community living spaces.

The incident came to light when police were alerted by the housing complex’s assistant manager about the disappearance of the appliance from one of the apartments. The call for investigation was part of a broader eviction procedure. Reports from fellow residents indicated that Shamyra Alicea was seen earlier that day engaging in the sale of the refrigerator to an unknown buyer for $200. This discovery prompted an immediate inspection by the complex’s management, confirming the absence of the refrigerator, a piece of property owned by the housing complex, from Alicea’s apartment.

Further inquiry into the situation revealed that the lease agreement Alicea signed upon moving in included the refrigerator as part of the apartment’s amenities, underscoring the unauthorized nature of the sale. When confronted by authorities, Alicea admitted to the sale but claimed she had yet to receive payment. The value of the refrigerator was estimated at nearly $700, marking a significant loss for the housing complex.

The legal proceedings against Alicea swiftly moved forward, with her arrest on charges of grand larceny and a subsequent court appearance. Magistrate Yolan Brow Ross confirmed the validity of the charges against Alicea, setting the stage for future legal deliberations. The case is currently pending further action, with Alicea’s arraignment scheduled for March 6, as the community awaits the outcome of this distressing situation.

This incident underscores the broader challenges faced by public housing communities in maintaining the integrity and security of their properties. It serves as a reminder of the legal and ethical responsibilities residents hold towards communal assets, ensuring a harmonious and respectful living environment for all.

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