ST. THOMAS, U.S.V.I. – Jurors took less than two hours to convict a
Haitian woman of beating her roommate, stabbing her with a knife and destroying
After a day of
testimony, the 10 women and two men returned a unanimous verdict Thursday
afternoon, finding Nathalie Premier, 40, of no known address, guilty of
third-degree assault, using a dangerous weapon during a third-degree assault,
simple assault and destruction of property in connection with the Dec. 22,
2016, assault of Dyane Hyppolite at the Bethlehem House for the Homeless.
Court Judge Kathleen Mackay has set May 4 as the date for Premier’s sentencing.
of Estate Nadir told jurors that on the morning of Dec. 22, she was awakened by
the “constant venting” of Premier.
Hyppolite got out of bed and went to the kitchen to get something to
eat. Premier, at the time, was mopping
the floor. As Hyppolite was on her way
outside, she got into an argument with Premier.
Later, as Hyppolite tried to re-enter the building, Premier blocked the
doorway with the mop bucket, Hyppolite squeezed her way inside and then,
Premier struck her twice with the mop handle.
the events, Hyppolite said she went to her room, picked up her cell phone and
called 911 as she was walking outside.
Hyppolite walked out of the property gate, still talking to the 911
operator, with her back turned toward the building.
“I felt like a
needle shot in my back,” Hyppolite testified.
“I felt my hair being pulled. I
was going back and I was being dragged by the defendant. As I was being dragged down the parking lot,
I saw a shiny object in her hand; it looked like a knife with no handle.”
after a struggle, she managed to free herself from Premier. Premier then picked up Hyppolite’s phone,
which had fallen from her hand, and slammed it three times on the ground,
breaking it into pieces. She threw the
pieces at Hyppolite and spat on her.
Hyppolite, at the time, was 12-14 weeks pregnant, Hyppolite said in her
emergency responders arrived on the scene.
Hyppolite was taken by ambulance to Schneider hospital where she was
treated for knife wounds in her back, her shoulder and right arm, as well as multiple
abrasions on her knees and other parts of her body, according to Dr. Robin
Ellett, the Emergency Room physician.
Premier took the
stand and asserted that she acted in self-defense. Jurors, however, were not convinced and found
her guilty on all four counts she faced.
free on an unsecured bond pending her sentencing.
Attorney General Nadja Harrigan argued the case for the prosecution.