Dec. 6, 2005 — On Friday, Angel Rodriguez was arrested in Fayetteville, N.C. in connection with the April 17, 2004 robbery of Wendys Restaurant and murder of V.I. police officer Cuthbert Chapman.
The announcement of the arrest was made in a joint press release from R. Alexander Acosta, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, V.I. Police Commissioner Elton Lewis, and Special Agent in Charge Lewis Fraticelli, San Juan Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and deputies of the United States Marshals Service, assisted by a homicide detective from the V.I. Police Department, arrested the suspect. Rodriguez was arrested based upon a warrant issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Geoffrey W. Barnard following the return of an eight-count Second Superseding Indictment on Nov. 15 by a federal grand jury sitting in the Virgin Islands, and the case will be assigned to Raymond L. Finch, U. S. District Court Judge.
Rodriguez faces eight charges, including first degree, felony murder. Two others have already been charged in the murder and robbery. (See "Second Man Charged in Shooting of Police Officer").
The new indictment charges defendants Reinaldo Berrios, Jr., Troy Moore, and Rodriguez also with interference with commerce by threats or violence, carjacking, and use of a firearm during a crime of violence.
They could, if convicted, face life imprisonment.
Chapman, a 14-year veteran of the V.I. Police Department, was working off-duty providing security at the restaurant when the attempted robbery occurred. During an exchange of gunfire, Chapman was shot multiple times, and following his transfer to a hospital in Puerto Rico, he died.
According to the press release, trial for the three individuals is scheduled to take place beginning on March 20, 2006.
Rodriguez appeared before a judge in North Carolina and waived an identification and removal proceeding. Rodriguez will be transported by the United States Marshals Service to the Virgin Islands.
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