Home News Local news 4 LIFE TERMS FOR MAN IN MALL-AREA KILLING, RAPES

4 LIFE TERMS FOR MAN IN MALL-AREA KILLING, RAPES

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Dec. 13, 2002 – A man who pleaded guilty to murder and serial rape charges on St. Thomas was sentenced Friday in Territorial Court to four consecutive life terms in prison.
Jeffrey Warner, 41, entered guilty pleas on Oct. 21 to one count of murder and three counts of rape. He had been charged with killing an 18-year-old woman and, over a period spanning several years, ambushing three girls as they used a short cut through an overgrown field between Tutu Park Mall and Four Winds Shopping Center and sexually assaulting them.
The murder was the strangulation death in April 1999 of Yathera Corona, 18, a Plaza Extra Supermarket employee who was last seen alive leaving work. Her body was found lying near the nearby Midas Auto Service Experts shop in the Tutu Park complex. The infant son she left at the time of her death is now 4 years old, Attorney General Iver Stridiron noted on Friday.
Stridiron had said in October that Warner was suspected of having assaulted eight victims near the shopping mall between 1996 and 2001, "but the statute of limitations had run out in some of the cases."
Stridiron said after the sentencing on Friday that because of the murder and the brutality of the assaults, he was satisfied by the stiff sentence handed down by the court. "We charged him with being a serial rapist, and today in Territorial Court Judge Brenda Hollar sentenced him" to life in prison on each of the four offenses, he said.
Warner, a resident alien in the Virgin Islands and a native of St. Kitts, will have to serve at least 70 years before becoming eligible for possible parole. Prosecutors stipulated that should he eventually be released, he will immediately be deported as an immigrant felon.
Had Warner gone to trial and been convicted of the charges for which he entered guilty pleas, Stridiron had said, he could have faced a sentence of life in prison without parole.

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