June 24, 2001 – New York police detectives apparently came close to their quarry last week in the ongoing search for the prime suspect in a May 10 triple murder which left a St. John resident and another person with longtime island connections dead and a St. John businesswoman wounded.
According to New York newspaper and Associated Press accounts, police had tracked prime suspect Sean Salley, 19, to New Orleans, where his mother resides and where he picked up $50 last that had been wired to him.
Police "thought they had a chance to nab him this week when someone wired him money," the New York Post reported Thursday. "But since there were 100 spots where Salley could pick up the dough, he was able to collect the cash on Tuesday without being spotted."
Police have described Salley, an African-American, as 5 feet 9 and 155 pounds, with braided hair and a round scar under his left eye.
Investigators theorized that the money may have been for a bus or train ticket, the New York Daily News reported.
Andre Smith is alleged to have been Salley's accomplice in the killing of three people and the wounding of two others in a walk-up apartment five stories above the popular Carnegie Deli in Manhattan's theater district. Smith was arrested on May 23 and has been indicted on second-degree murder and robbery charges.
According to the Post, Smith, 32, said in a confession that he "saw Sean walk over calmly to each one and shoot each one once in the back of their heads." Smith denied having fired any shots. A surveillance camera on a stairway landing in the building recorded images of the two assailants arriving and leaving within less than six minutes.
The shootings took place in the residence of Jennifer Stahl, a onetime actress who according to authorities ran a high-end marijuana retail sales operation as well as a small recording studio in her four-room flat. She, St. John resident Charles "Trey" Helliwell, and New York musician Stephen King were killed. Rosemond Dane, a 15-year St. John resident who owns three Cruz Bay shops, and New York hair stylist Anthony Veader were wounded.
The other four victims were visiting Stahl, a frequent Virgin Islands visitor who was once married to Wendell Callwood, son of Jost Van Dyke entrepreneur Foxy Callwood, when the two assailants came to the apartment, allegedly to rob Stahl. Authorities have said the four were innocent victims who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Also last week, Philip King, father of Stephen King, traveled to New York to retrieve some of his son's personal effects and meet with police. The Daily News, in a front-page story on Friday, said he will push for the death penalty for the triggerman.
Longtime Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has not asked for the death penalty in any first-degree murder case he has prosecuted since the state of New York restored capital punishment in 1995, the Daily News said.


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