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BVI / Crime / News / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / September 6, 2016

TORTOLA — A St. Thomas man named Shamori Alphonso Richardson was denied bail in Tortola after the British territory’s court found good reason to believe that he was involved in a gunpoint robbery that occurred on June 3, 2016 at Gene Hill.

According to B.V.I. news reports, Mr. Richardson, 27, was linked to the crime after his fingerprints reportedly matched samples taken at the crime scene.

Mr. Richardson had incessantly denied involvement in the incident, but Magistrate Tamia Richards reminded the suspect that fingerprints were the “gold standard of evidence.”

“They call this the gold standard of evidence. Your fingerprints don’t go anywhere themselves because they are attached to your hands,” Magistrate Richards said, according to BVI Platinum News.

BVI Crown Counsel O’Neil Simpson said Mr. Richardson and an assailant had robbed a contractor at gunpoint. According to the police report, the contractor was sitting in his vehicle on Gene Hill, when he was approached by two assailants who pointed a gun at him and demanded money. The victim then searched his pocket and handed over the only $9 in his possession.

It was also made known during the court hearing, according to BVI Platinum News, that the assailants began demanding that the victim give them the money that he intended to pay his workers with, and began searching the vehicle themselves. The contractor later handed over $500 to the assailants, who then fled the area.

Police were called to the scene following the incident, where they took a report from the victim and collected evidence — including fingerprint samples.

On July 7, Mr. Richardson was arrested on police suspicion and interviewed about the robbery. He told law enforcement that he had no knowledge of the matter. His fingerprints, however, were taken with his consent, according to details revealed during the court hearing.

On August 27, Mr. Richardson was again arrested, and was told that his fingerprints had matched those found at the crime scene. He again denied involvement.

A bail application filed by Mr. Richardson’s attorney, Ms. Ruthila Maximea, requested that Mr. Richardson be released on bail and allowed to return to St. Thomas, as he was only allowed to be in Tortola for 4 days, and that he had only visited the BVI to see his girlfriend and four-month-old child. The attorney said Mr. Richardson had promised to visit Tortola everyday to check in, according to BVI Platinum News.

But Crown Counsel Simpson immediately shutdown the idea, reminding the court that the other assailant involved in the incident, as well as the gun used to threaten the victims, were still at large. Mr. Simpson also said releasing Mr. Richardson could set an unwanted  precedent and affect other cases. It was further argued that because Mr. Richardson is a U.S. citizen, there would be no reason for him to return to the BVI.

The BVI court magistrate denied bail to Mr. Richardson, contending that the BVI has no jurisdiction in the U.S. The suspect was then remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison.

The next court hearing was set for October 6, 2016, according to BVI Platinum News.


Feature Image: Shamori Alphonso Richardson leaving Magistrate Court. (Credit: BVI Platinum News)

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Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected].

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