Golden Grove inmate charged in stabbing inside prison
Published: June 14, 2014
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ST. CROIX - Police have arrested an inmate at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility and charged him with the first-degree assault and related charges in connection with the May 24 brutal stabbing of another inmate inside the prison.
Jamal Fahie, who already is serving a life sentence at Golden Grove, appeared before Magistrate Miguel Camacho on Friday and was advised of his rights on charges of first-degree assault; third-degree assault; use of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence; and promoting dangerous prison contraband.
Camacho advised Fahie that if he is tried and convicted of the charges against him, he could face up to an additional 40 years in prison.
Bail for Fahie was set at $75,000, and he remains jailed.
V.I. Police Detective Jeffrey Nesbitt said in his report in support of the arrest warrant that he was called to conduct a follow-up into the stabbing that occurred about 9 a.m. May 24.
Based on discussions and interviews with Corrections personnel, Nesbitt said he learned that officers were working in the I and J units when one officer called out to another officer for assistance. The officers reported that they saw detainee Owen Browne walking toward the kitchen holding his stomach, and when they went to render assistance, they noticed a large stab wound that caused his intestines to protrude from his abdomen, according to Nesbitt's report.
Nesbitt said officers reported that Browne also had a stab wound to the right side of his body.
Based on information from the first Corrections officers on the scene, Browne reported that he knew he was going to be targeted. Nesbitt said a prison task force was organized and conducted a search to locate the weapon used in the stabbing, but they were unable to do so. According to acting Prison Warden Donald Redwood, the camera system in the units where the assault occurred was not working at the time.
Nesbitt said he went to Luis Hospital, where he spoke with emergency room physicians, who reported that Browne identified Fahie as his assailant once Browne arrived at the hospital.
Several days later, Nesbitt said he contacted Browne in the hospital's intensive care unit and took a video statement outlining the incidents leading up to the stabbing.
Browne told police he came out of his cell that morning for some fresh air, and Fahie approached and began arguing with him about rooming situations at the prison. Browne said Fahie got mad, and the argument escalated, and Fahie approached him, walking towards him with his hands in his pockets, but when Fahie got close, he stabbed Browne in his stomach with a sharp object.
According to the report, Browne told police that he walked away holding his stomach.
Browne was able to identify Fahie in a photo array, and Fahie was arrested and charged.
Fahie, who is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder for a November 2011 shooting on Bunker Hill on St. Thomas, has stabbed a fellow inmate before.
In February 2013, he accepted a plea deal that consolidated several pending cases, including the inmate stabbing.
Golden Grove currently is under a consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department, which contends that conditions at the prison violate the ban on cruel and unusual punishment contained in the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Although the territory has been under court orders for more than 27 years to improve things at the prison to meet constitutional standards, the territory has so far failed to do so.
The U.S. Justice Department and the independent monitor hired to assess how well the Corrections Bureau is doing implementing the court orders have warned that major security lapses at Golden Grove have a potential impact on safety inside and outside of the prison.
The prison was placed on lockdown following the May 24 stabbing, but that was followed by the stabbing of another detainee just two days later.
Detainee Jermaine Ducreay was stabbed May 26 in what officers described as an unprovoked attack. N'Kosi Parris, who was incarcerated and is facing two murder charges, was arrested and charged in the assault.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.