Bail set at $150,000 for men charged in robberies
Published: January 2, 2013
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ST. CROIX - Two men made their initial court appearances in V.I. Superior Court on Monday after being charged in two separate Christiansted armed robberies.
Elroy Mills, 34, of D. Hamilton Jackson housing community, and Nigel Richardson, of Bovoni on St. Thomas, appeared before Magistrate Judge Miguel Camacho to face a host of charges: first-degree robbery; third-degree assault; use of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence; unlawful possession of a firearm; aiming or discharging a firearm; possession or sale of ammunition; failure to report a firearm brought into the territory; and grand larceny.
The men were charged in connection with Saturday night robberies that occurred near the intersection of King Cross and Strand streets and on Queen Cross Street in Christiansted.
Camacho advised the men they could face up to 85 years in prison in each case, if they are tried and convicted on all the charges.
According to documents filed in court by V.I. Police Detective Jeffrey Nisbett, the first victim told police he was approached by four men, three of whom pointed handguns at him and demanded his wallet, as he walked toward Strand Street after parking his vehicle near the government parking lot on King Cross Street.
The man handed over his wallet, which contained credit cards and cash, and the men also took his cell phone, according to the document.
The victim said one of the gunmen took his keys and asked another of the robbers whether they should take his car. The other gunman, however, said they did not need it and the keys were thrown on the ground as they ran toward the boardwalk, according to Nisbett.
Police released a description of the men involved in the robbery, and officers saw Mills and Richardson in the area shortly after and detained them for questioning, Nisbett said.
The victim pointed them out as the two men who robbed him at gunpoint, according to Nisbett.
The second incident played out similarly, according to Nisbett. In that case, the victim told police he was walking on Queen Cross Street near the corner of Company Street, when two men approached him from behind and ordered him at gunpoint to put his wallet on the ground. He told the men he did not have a wallet, but took the cash and cellphone from his pocket and ran from the area.
He also described the gunmen and picked them from a photo array, according to Nisbett.
Nisbett said the two men were charged with the robberies, and both refused to give statements to police.
During Monday's hearing, defense attorney Yolan Brow Ross asked the court to have each man released on unsecured bonds in the amount of bail, which had been set at $150,000 each. She asked that they be released to third-party custodians on 24-hour house arrest.
Assistant Attorney General Melissa Ortiz objected to the proposed conditions, saying that both men should be considered a serious danger to the community because of the random manner in which the robberies were carried out. Richardson also has a conviction on St. Thomas on charges of assault and another for threatening a witness, Ortiz said. Richardson also had an arrest each for third-degree assault and first-degree robbery, but the dispositions of those to cases were unavailable.
Camacho agreed about the men being dangers to the community. He also said they should also be considered flights risks because some of the charges against them have minimum mandatory charges that could expose them to no less than 30 years in prison.
Camacho required bail to be fully secured before he will consider releasing them on house arrest with electronic monitoring.
Mills and Richardson remain jailed, unable to post bail.
- Contact Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.