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  05/24/2019 St. Thomas man gets 15 years for 2014 murder outside local nightclub  
    
 

PRESS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 24, 2019

 

By Corliss Smithen

Public Media Officer

(340) 774-5666 ext. 105

Email: corliss.smithen@doj.vi.gov

 

St. Thomas man gets 15 years for 2014 murder outside local nightclub

 

ST. THOMAS, V.I. – Attorney General Designee Denise N. George announced Friday that Carlos Norman, who shot and killed Shacoi Benjamin outside a packed local nightclub, will spend the next 15 years behind bars as punishment for his crime.

            AG Designee George said, “It is my hope that the family and loved ones of Shacoi Benjamin will find some solace as a result of this sentence handed down by the court.”

            Virgin Islands Department of Justice prosecutors appeared before V.I. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Mackay Friday morning for Norman’s sentencing in connection with the Oct. 19, 2014, shooting death of Benjamin, 22, outside the Blitz Nightclub on Norre Gade.  In her allocution, Assistant Attorney General Nadja Harrigan recommended that the court abide by the terms of the plea agreement. 

            Charged in an amended information with one count each of first-degree murder, unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault, unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, using a deadly weapon, two counts each of third-degree assault and two unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a third-degree assault,  Norman entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to the single charge of second-degree murder in exchange for a 15-year prison term and dismissal with prejudice of the other charges.  Judge Mackay adhered to the terms of the plea agreement, imposed a 15-year prison term on Norman and ordered him to pay $75 in court cost.

            A somber Norman apologized to the court for his actions.

“I apologize for the pain and grief I caused,” Norman said, while addressing the court on his own behalf.  “I was young and immature… I take responsibility for this.”

The court also heard from the victim’s mother, Almira Benjamin.

“…At the end of the day, Shacoi was who he was, but he had a family,” Benjamin told the court.  “What he took from me he can never bring back… You turned my life, my kids’, my second son’s life upside down until somebody killed him on Oct. 28, 2018… You emptied a part of my life; my heart is empty.”

Based on the account of an eyewitness and several other witnesses, police arrested Norman on Feb. 16, 2017 on a warrant following his extradition to the Virgin Islands from North Carolina where he was serving an unrelated prison sentence at the North Carolina Federal Correctional Institute.

According to an affidavit prepared by Det. Dwight Griffith in support of Norman’s arrest, on Oct. 19, 2014, at approximately 3:57 a.m., police responded to reports of a shooting incident on Norre Gade in the area of Blitz Night Club.  Police learnt that Benjamin suffered one gunshot wound to the body and was transported to Schneider Hospital where he later died.  A second victim, a woman, who was shot in the hand during the hail of gunfire, was taken to Schneider Hospital, treated and discharged.

One eyewitness told police that he/she was at the Blitz Nightclub in the early morning hours of Oct. 19, 2014, when he/she saw Norman and two other men outside the club.  Norman asked the witness if he/she had seen Benjamin; the witness responded, “No.”  The witness went inside the club and advised Benjamin to leave the club because they were going to kill him.  

Sometime later, the witness saw Benjamin leaving the club and then go to his car.  As Benjamin got to his car, the witness saw Norman looking in Benjamin’s direction.  Norman put on a black bandana, approached Benjamin and started shooting at him.  The eyewitness identified Norman through a photo array as one of the persons who shot Benjamin, according to Griffth’s affidavit.

 
  St. Thomas man gets 15 years for 2014 murder outside local nightclub.pdf