Bail set at $250K for men arrested in armed robbery of William's Delight bar


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ST. CROIX - Two men arrested Wednesday in connection with the armed robbery of a William's Delight bar last month made their initial court appearances Thursday morning.

Jadiah Lockhart, 28, of Castle Burke, and Wahilli James, 18, of William's Delight both appeared before Magistrate Jessica Gallivan, who advised them of their rights on charges of first-degree robbery; first-degree assault; third-degree assault; unauthorized possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime; possession of ammunition; failure to report firearms brought into the territory; and first-degree reckless endangerment.

The charges stem from a robbery Nov. 21 at the "They Say Lounge." The men were arrested Wednesday without incident on a warrant issued on Tuesday, according to police.

Bail was set at $250,000, and on Thursday during the preliminary hearing, Assistant Public Defender Leslie Davis made a motion asking for the men to be released on an unsecured bond in the amount of bail with each of their mothers serving as third-party custodians.

Assistant Attorney General Cornelius Evans objected to the conditions, saying that the men should be made to post some sort of surety against the bail amount because the crimes are serious. Evans said it was not only a robbery, but a robbery with a gun, during which the lives of others were not regarded and one of the robbers shot a person.

Gallivan said the court would allow each of the men to be released from prison while their case is pending if they are able to post at least 10 percent of the bail or post property valued at twice the amount of the bail. She said they would have to be placed under the custodianship of their mothers on 24-hour house arrest, avoid contact with anyone related to the case, not leave the territory without permission from the court and not violate any law of the territory.

Unable to meet those conditions Thursday, the men remain jailed.

The affidavit supporting the arrest warrant for each of the men has been placed under seal by the court because police suspect that other individuals were involved in the robbery.

However, V.I. Police spokeswoman Melody Rames reported that police said people inside the bar told them that they saw a masked man standing at the front door, which he could not open because it has to be opened with a buzzer. The witnesses said the man then went to another door that two other masked men were trying to open.

The owner and patrons tried to hold the door closed until several shots were fired, wounding the owner in his right forearm. The three armed suspects then entered the business, stole cash and cellphones and left the area, police said.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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