|| ST. THOMAS, V.I. – A St. Thomas man who has taken responsibility for a killing on one of the island’s popular beaches three years ago has been punished for his crime. Attorney General Claude Earl Walker recommended that Craig King receive the maximum penalty for his wrongdoing, which the court agreed to.
King, 34, who pleaded guilty to the Oct. 14, 2013, murder of Jumore Lewis, 20, who was shot and killed at Coki Point Beach in Smith Bay, appeared today before V.I. Superior Court Judge Denise Francois and was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.
King, who was scheduled to stand trial on six charges – second-degree murder, first-degree assault, third-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence and involuntary manslaughter – in connection with Lewis’ shooting death, accepted the terms of a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. The remaining counts against him were dismissed.
At his sentencing hearing, Assistant Attorney General Natasha Baker reiterated AG Walker’s request that the court mete out the highest punishment for the offense.
“Let it not be said, as stated by defense counsel, that Mr. King did nothing wrong,” Baker said in her allocution. “He had a gun, which he had no license for, and that gun killed someone.”
The court also heard statements from Lewis’ parents, both of whom spoke fondly of their son.
After having heard allocutions from both sides, Judge Francois sentenced King to five years behind bars – the maximum penalty for involuntary manslaughter – with credit for time served. King, who was on bail pending his sentencing, was immediately remanded to the Bureau of Corrections to begin serving his time.
King was arrested Nov. 9, 2013, following an interview with investigators, during which he confessed to killing Lewis.
According to the affidavit of police detective, Mark Leslie Thomas, King was at the beach with his girlfriend, Akilah Godet, when a fight broke out among several persons and shots were fired. When King looked behind him, he saw Godet lying on the ground and observed that she had been shot. When King tried to pick up Godet, he realized she was lifeless.
King noticed that Lewis was holding a gun and King shot at Lewis multiple times, killing him, according to Thomas’ affidavit.