FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2019
By Corliss Smithen
Public Media Officer
(340) 774-5666 ext. 105
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
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
“…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
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.