ST. THOMAS, V.I. – Three violent criminals – C’Quan Celestine, Shaheid
Maynard and Winston Carter – will not see the light of day for several years.
Superior Court Judge Michael Dunston sentenced the three men today for various
gun crimes in three unrelated incidents.
General Claude Earl Walker issued a brief statement following the sentencing
successful prosecution, we have removed three dangerous criminals, including a
repeat offender, off of the streets of the Virgin Islands,” AG Walker
said. “This is good news to all
law-abiding residents in every part of the Territory who are united in their
desire for a safe and peaceful Virgin Islands. Guns were used in each
case, and so, our message is clear: when you use a gun as part of a crime in
the Virgin Islands, you will be quickly prosecuted to the full extent of the
law. We know that gun violence remains a serious public safety issue, but
with our policy of precision prosecution of violent gun cases, we will continue
to swiftly bring such cases to conclusion. We have additional experienced
prosecutors coming in August to join our expanded Violent Crime Unit because we
want to ensure that violent offenders are removed from Virgin Islands society
by being convicted and put in prison.”
of Anna’s Retreat was sentenced for second-degree attempted murder,
unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a second-degree attempted
murder, first-degree assault, unauthorized use of a firearm during the
commission of a first-degree assault, third-degree assault, unauthorized use of
a firearm during the commission of a third-degree assault and unauthorized
possession of a firearm, two months after a jury unanimously convicted him of
shooting a woman in the face and leaving her for dead. The incident occurred on August 9, 2015.
you have turned my life upside down,” the victim said as she addressed the court at Celestine’s
sentencing. “You shot me in my face about
an inch under my right eye and it exited through my neck. I did nothing to provoke you.”
who sentenced Celestine as a habitual offender, handed down a 40-year prison
term with credit for the 418 days he has already served since his arrest. Celestine was also ordered to pay restitution
to the victim in the amount of $2,876 and $75 court cost. He was immediately taken back to the Bureau
instance, I feel that his actions demonstrated callousness and disregard for
Ms. Gumbs, another human being. That is
frightening,” Judge Dunston said.
Maynard, 21, of Estate
Thomas was punished for the May 22, 2016, shooting death of Vershawn Monsanto
in the area of the Oswald Harris Court housing community. Facing one count each of voluntary
manslaughter, third-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment,
unauthorized possession of a firearm during the commission of a third-degree
assault and unauthorized possession of a firearm during the commission of a
voluntary manslaughter, Maynard pleaded guilty to the single charge of
just want to say I apologize to the victim’s family and to my family,” Maynard
said at his sentencing, when given the opportunity to address the court on his
own behalf. “On that day, I had no
intention of killing anyone; I was just trying to protect myself. I take full responsibility for carrying a gun
and killing somebody.”
Dunston handed him a seven-year prison sentence with credit for the 414 days he
has already served since he was arrested.
Maynard was remanded into custody and escorted back to the BOC to serve
the remainder of his sentence.
to the probable cause fact sheet of Det. Nigel James, Maynard admitted to
police that he shot Monsanto. Three
witnesses had already identified him as the shooter. During a police interview, Maynard told
officers that he went to the McDonald’s restaurant to get something to eat and
while there, he got into an argument with some individuals inside the
restaurant and he left with his food.
he got in the area of the Oswald Harris Court housing community, Vershawn
Monsanto approached him, pulled out a gun and began shooting at him. Maynard then shot at Monsanto and ran from
the area. Monsanto was transported to
Schneider Hospital, where he later died, according to James. At sentencing, however, the prosecutor told
the court that Monsanto was shot in the back and there was never any weapon found on him.
26, of Upper John Dunkoe, St. John, has been given until Friday to report to
the BOC, his new home for the next seven years.
who faced one count each of first-degree assault, third-degree assault,
possession of an unlicensed firearm, unauthorized possession of a dangerous
weapon during the commission of a first-degree assault, unauthorized possession
of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a third-degree assault and
reckless endangerment, entered an Alford plea and pleaded guilty to
first-degree assault. The charges and
subsequent plea of guilt stemmed from the April 19, 2016, shooting of Shashi
to a probable cause fact sheet filed by Det. Dwight Griffith, police responded
to a report of shots fired in the area of the Apostolic Faith Church in
Altona. On arrival at the scene,
officers found Seetaram lying face-up in the church’s parking lot. He was bleeding profusely from multiple
gunshot wounds about his head and body.
asked who shot him, Seetaram told officers that he did not know the name of his
shooter, but that the shooter’s number was the last one that appeared in the
listing on his cellular phone. Police
searched the phone, obtained the number and found that it belonged to Carter,
who was arrested two days later.
sorry. I apologize to my family; I apologize to everybody,” Carter told the court
at his sentencing.
Dunston sentenced Carter to seven years’ imprisonment with credit for the 105
days he served at the BOC after his arrest and also ordered him to pay $75
Attorney General Eugene James Connor, Jr. argued the cases for the prosecution.