Incarcerated St. Croix twins get 7½ years for prison stabbing


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ST. CROIX - Twin brothers already serving substantial federal prison sentences have been sentenced in V.I. Superior Court for their involvement in a prison stabbing last year.

Raheem Louis and Kareem Louis, both 21, of Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility were charged last summer with first-degree assault and possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

The charges stemmed from a May 24 incident inside the correctional facility that left another detainee wounded.

At the time of the stabbing, the brothers had been awaiting sentencing after being convicted in District Court of carjacking and related charges stemming from a 2011 incident.

The men had pleaded not guilty to the assault and weapon charges against them in the stabbing until last November, when they opted to accept a plea deal allowing them to plead guilty to the weapon possession charge in exchange for prosecutors dismissing the assault charge.

At the brothers' sentencing Friday, V.I. Superior Court Judge Harold Willocks sentenced both men to the mandatory minimum incarceration on the charge of possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence, which is seven-and-a-half years.

However, Willocks allowed the men to serve that sentence concurrent to the federal prison sentence they already were serving.

At the time of the stabbing, the men had been in prison after being found guilty in December 2012 of a 2011 robbery.

A jury convicted Kareem Louis of carjacking; carrying a firearm during a crime of violence; robbery; unauthorized possession of a firearm and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison.

Raheem Louis was convicted of carjacking, robbery and unauthorized use of a vehicle and was sentenced to half that time, 11 years in prison.

According to an affidavit filed by V.I. Police Detective Jeffrey Nisbett, he responded to a report of a stabbing at the jail about 1 p.m. May 24. He said based on reports made to him, Kareem Louis was taken out of his cell for recreation time when he charged through a door that had been left ajar.

Kareem Louis opened his brother's cell, and the two of them ran to another unit, where they opened Angel Illaraza's cell and dragged him out onto the floor and stabbed him repeatedly about his body, according to Nisbett.

Nisbett said in speaking with the emergency room physician, the doctor said Illaraza had to be treated for multiple stab wounds about his body and a collapsed lung.

According to the affidavit, Nisbett spoke with two Corrections officers, who said they saw the incident unfold but could not get to the men fast enough to stop the assault. The officers said they ran to the scene and managed to break up the fight and pulled the two brothers off the wounded man.

Ilarraza has since pleaded guilty to a single charge of reckless endangerment that led to his detention. He was sentenced to the time he spent in pre-trial detention - almost a year - and subsequently released from jail.

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

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