ST. THOMAS, U.S.V.I. – Fifteen years
behind bars was the sentence handed down on Jahani Joseph who shot a man seven
times while robbing him in the area of Hospital Ground almost three years ago.
V.I. Superior Court Judge Michael
Dunston issued his ruling on Monday morning in accordance with a closed plea
agreement Joseph, 26, of Est. Bovoni entered into with prosecutors, several
minutes after the start of his scheduled jury trial.
As part of the plea deal, Joseph
pleaded guilty to one count each of first-degree attempted murder and using an
unlicensed firearm during the commission of an attempted first-degree murder in
connection with the May 9, 2016, shooting of Raheen Luzunaris. In exchange for his guilty plea, Joseph
agreed to serve a 15-year prison term.
Relying on the statements of several
witnesses, including Luzunaris, police issued an arrest warrant for
Joseph. One witness told Det. Ivan
Christopher, the investigating officer, that she was at home when Luzunaris,
two men and a woman came to her apartment.
Shortly after the men left, the woman said she heard gunshots coming
from outside. When she went outside of
her apartment to look for Luzunaris, another man told the woman that “a male
tried to rob Raheen and then shot him.”
The woman later learnt that Luzunaris was at Schneider Hospital. Following a report of the incident, police also
went to the hospital where they met Luzunaris, who identified Joseph as his
attacker. Police arrested Joseph on Dec.
19, 2017 on a warrant, following his extradition to the territory from Georgia.
Assistant Attorneys General Eugene
James Connor III and Timothy Perry prosecuted the case for the government.