Home News Local news Police Arrest Third Minor Suspect in Festival Village Stabbing

Police Arrest Third Minor Suspect in Festival Village Stabbing

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Jan. 14, 2007 — A 15-year-old minor has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Jovan Joseph in Festival Village last Sunday.
Police arrested the minor at his Estate Concordia home in Frederiksted at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Spokeswoman Shawna Richards said in a released statement.
The weapon used in the stabbing has not been located, she said when contacted later.
By law the names of minors charged with crimes are not released. However, a minor can be named if the Attorney General seeks to have that person bound over as an adult and a judge grants the request. A murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence.
Two other minors, ages 15 and 16, were arrested in connection with the 24-year-old Joseph's death. Since Thursday, police had sought the community's help in apprehending a third suspect. The two minors arrested were initially held in connection with burglary charges in Estate Calquohoun on Thursday and later held in connection with the stabbing. In addition to burglary and murder charges, the 16-year-old faces charges of contempt of court for curfew violation.
"Police have not filed any additional charges against the minors previously apprehended on charges of attempted burglary," Richards said in the statement. "Those minors, ages 15 and 16, are considered by police to be persons of interest in the stabbing incident."
Joseph was pronounced dead shortly before 2 a.m. at Luis Hospital after sustaining a stab wound to the neck that punctured an artery. The incident occurred at 12:46 a.m. Sunday near the children's rides in the Festival Village. At the time of the stabbing, the rides had already closed and witnesses reported seeing Joseph in a verbal confrontation with at least four young men shortly before he was stabbed.
According to initial reports to police, Joseph had approached the group because they were harassing his girlfriend. The couple has a 4-year-old son.
Territorial Police Chief Novelle E. Francis Jr. on Saturday decried the senseless killings in the Virgin Islands, which he said are increasingly being committed by minors.
"The involvement of minors in serious and often violent crimes is not something the Virgin Islands can ignore," Francis said. "In the past weeks, young people have been involved in two major incidents that resulted in the loss of a life."
Francis also had strong words Saturday for the parents of minors committing crimes.
"While it would be unfair to say that parents should be held accountable for their children's actions, the need for parental involvement and oversight remains a critical factor in curbing juvenile criminal activity," he said.
Francis referred to the Jan. 4 death on St. John of 17-year-old Michael Freeman during a shootout with police. Freeman was on Centerline Road driving a white Toyota Highlander that police said was transporting a group of burglary suspects. When VIPD officers attempted to pull the vehicle over during a traffic stop, the occupants opened fire.
Police had placed an all-points-bulletin (APB) on the vehicle after it was used Jan. 2 in a burglary in which cash and electronics were stolen from a woman's vacation home.
After Freeman was killed, police say they found a gun in one of his pockets and another three handguns in the vehicle. Police also arrested 24-year-old Obrian Pacquette and two minors — a 14-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy — who were in the van, but two others escaped. Police have classified the two who are at-large as armed and dangerous. Pacquette, according to police, was driving the vehicle when it was stopped but attempted to flee. Freeman, who was in the back seat, hopped into the driver's seat and attempted to run them over, police said.
On Saturday Francis commended residents whom he said came forward with information and helped in the speedy resolution of the case.
"Community involvement continues to be a valuable resource to the V.I. Police Department and enabled the Criminal Investigation Bureau in their timely arrest in this case," Francis said. "The department thanks all community members who came forward with information and who stand as advocates for safety and security throughout our neighborhoods."
If you have information for the police, call 911 or 778-4950.
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