Duo Caught On CCTV With AK-47, Cash Following Pickering's Murder
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mrs. Tiffany Scatliffe-Espirt said surveillance footage is what the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) used to link Zion Hill residents Akeem Hopkinson, 22, and Shameek Grant, 28, to the April 18 Paraquita Bay robbery and subsequent murder of Catherine Pickering who was shot to the head and chest.
Both men appeared before Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin moments ago via Zoom.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) reportedly captured the duo’s movements with an AK47 rifle inside their apartment, on the journey to the Paraquita Bay area on the ill-fated night, as well as while they were counting a quantity of cash suspected to be the same cash from the robbery.
Ammunition from the weapon was also found inside the home that the duo share at Zion Hill that also matched shell casings recovered from the crime scene.
They were not required to plea to the joint charges of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, robbery and murder, as the matters are indictable, meaning that they are to be tried at the High Court.
The issue of bail was not raised; however, the magistrate said two of the offences carry life sentences.
The men were not legally represented and are expected to return to court on May 27 for the continuation of the matter.
In the meantime, Tyann Smith, 20 of Freshwater Pond, who was charged with aiding offenders in this incident, was not brought before the court during today’s proceedings.
The fourth person who was also charged in relation to the robbery is Shermar Richardson, who is also on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut, Tortola.