ST. THOMAS, V.I. Ė Tahira Charles has
pleaded not guilty to murder and related charges.
32-year-old Bovoni man appeared before V.I. Superior Court Judge Michael
Dunston on Thursday morning for his arraignment hearing to formally answer to
the five charges he faces in connection with the June 25 killing of another
young man, Caseam Daniel, who was fatally shot in the area of First Stop Gas
accepted the not-guilty plea and has set May 8 as the date for jury selection.
V.I. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Mackay will be presiding over the trial.
Charles is charged with one count
each of first-degree murder, first-degree assault, third-degree assault,
unauthorized possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of
violence and first-degree reckless endangerment.
According to an affidavit
prepared by Det. Nigel James, officers responded to reports of a shooting in
the area of the gas station where they found Danielís bullet-riddled body.
Footage from a surveillance
camera showed a black BMW convertible bearing tag number TEF 376 arrive at the
gas station with three occupants. The
driver, Devon Grant, exited the vehicle and went into the gas stationís convenience
store. Charles, the front seat passenger, also came out of the vehicle; the
third occupant stayed inside the vehicle, James wrote.
Charles walked across the street
to the area of Oswald Harris Court, where there was a group of individuals,
including Daniel. Charles appeared to get into an argument with Daniel, took a
gun from his pants, shot Daniel three times and then fled the area, according
to Jamesí affidavit. Based on the accounts of several witnesses and information
from a confidential source, police determined that there was probable cause to
arrest Charles for Danielís murder, James wrote in his affidavit.