FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2016
By Corliss Smithen
Public Media Officer
(340) 774-5666 ext. 105
Jury convicts Angel Parrilla of 2018 Frederiksted
Festival Village murder
ST. CROIX, U.S.V.I. - Jurors empaneled for the murder trial of
Angel Parrilla, Jr., were not convinced by his claim of self-defense and
convicted him of murder, assault and weapons charges in connection with last
year’s killing during the Frederiksted Festival activities, Attorney General
Denise George has announced.
four days of testimony, the three men and nine women of the jury returned a unanimous
verdict Thursday finding Parrilla, 23, of the Walter I.M. Hodge Housing
Community, guilty of one count each of second-degree murder, unauthorized
possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, first-degree
assault, possession of ammunition, first-degree reckless endangerment and
discharging or aiming a firearm, stemming from the Jan. 6, 2018, shooting death
of Curtis Phipps. Parrilla, who was
granted pre-trial release into the charge of a third-party custodian and was
placed under house arrest with electronic monitoring, was remanded into custody
immediately after the jury announced its verdict.
commenting on the outcome of the trial, AG George said, “I am pleased with the
results. Justice has been served and I commend
Assistant Attorneys General Eric Chancellor and Patricia Quinland for their
trial, the prosecution team of Assistant Attorneys General Chancellor and
Quinland relied on the testimony of ten witnesses, including one eyewitness, to
help prove its case. That eyewitness
came forward a day after the shooting and identified Parrilla aka Cheeze as the
shooting suspect, according to a probable cause fact sheet filed by Det. Sgt.
Det. Sgt. Ortiz, the eyewitness was at the Festival Village at the gambling
table when a slim, Black man with a pointy nose, a long braid at the back of
his head and braids tied on top of his head, and who was wearing a black colored
shirt and short pants, walked towards another Black man who was gambling. The two men were arguing when the man with
the pointed nose lifted his shirt and showed the other man that he had a gun tucked
into his waist. The two began wrestling
for the gun, which fell to the ground.
The man wearing the colored shirt picked up the gun, the other man
lunged at him and they continued to wrestle for the weapon. The man wearing the black colored shirt
punched the other man in the face and he staggered. Then, the man dressed in the black colored
shirt aimed the gun and shot the other man, causing him to fall to the
ground. The man wearing the black
colored shirt approached the other man who was still on the ground and fired
several more shots. The shooter then ran
away from the area while attempting to conceal the gun inside his waistband. At the time of the shooting, the festival
village was crowded with children and adults.
gave a statement to police. In his
version of events, Parrilla said he was at the festival village and on more
than one occasion, he went to the gambling table. He stood next to an individual who began
looking at him and for no apparent reason, the individual grabbed on to him and
they began to wrestle. During the
tussle, a gun fell to the ground near them, Parrilla picked up the gun and used
it to shoot the individual. Once it was
done, Parrilla went home to sleep. After
the shooting, Phipps was transported via ambulance to the hospital where he
later died from his injuries. An autopsy
on Phipps’ body revealed that he died as a result of a single gunshot wound to
the back, which struck both lungs.
Parrilla was immediately taken into custody and charged with two counts
of first-degree murder and one count each of unauthorized possession of a
firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, first-degree assault,
possession of ammunition, first-degree reckless endangerment and discharging or
aiming a firearm, Det. Sgt. Ortiz wrote.
Court Judge Harold Willocks has scheduled Parrilla’s sentencing for Sept. 6.