Man charged in Frederiksted murder faces new charges of possession of stolen property


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ST. CROIX - Juan Ilarraza, who already was being detained in connection with the Feb. 1 murder of Wellington Pennyfeather Jr., was arrested Thursday on an additional charge of possession of property stolen from Pennyfeather on the night he was killed.

Ilarraza, 24, appeared before Magistrate Jessica Gallivan on Thursday morning and was advised of his rights on a single charge of possession of stolen property. Bail was set at $10,000 and Gallivan said the bond would have to be fully secured before Ilarraza's release would be considered.

The affidavit in support of the arrest warrant has been placed under seal by order of the court after Assistant Attorney General Charlotte Poole Davis filed a motion requesting the sealing. She said in the motion that there is an ongoing investigation into Pennyfeather's murder, and disclosing information contained in the affidavit could jeopardize the apprehension and arrest of additional persons suspected to be involved in the crime.

However, the two count criminal information charges that Juan Ilarraza and his brother, Angel Ilarraza, possessed a gold chain stolen from Pennyfeather between Feb. 1 and Feb. 11.

Angel Ilarraza remains at large, according to police.

Juan Ilarraza was extradited to the territory from Florida on March 27 on a warrant that implicates him in the Feb. 1 shooting death of Pennyfeather in Frederiksted. Juan Ilarraza and Ronald Bogan, 19, of William's Delight, have been charged with first-degree murder; first-degree assault; third-degree assault; first-degree robbery; unauthorized possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence; failure to report firearms brought into the territory; possession of ammunition; first-degree reckless endangerment; and unauthorized possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school zone.

Bail for each man on the murder charge has been set at $1 million after prosecutors reminded the court that while Ilarraza had fled the territory to Florida by way of Puerto Rico, Bogan had also fled the territory to Puerto Rico following the murder.

Based on information revealed in previous court hearings, police suspect that Angel Ilarraza may also have been involved in the murder and believe that he too has fled the territory to avoid arrest and prosecution. He remains at large.

Juan Ilarraza and Bogan have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have requested a jury trial.

Following Pennyfeather's murder at about 7:37 p.m. Feb. 1., V.I. Police spokeswoman Melody Rames said residents in Frederiksted reported hearing multiple gunshots.

When officers arrived on the scene, they found Pennyfeather's body laying in the road near the intersection of Market and Queen streets.

Rames said witnesses told police Pennyfeather got into an altercation with at least one other man, and when shots were fired, Pennyfeather tried to flee by running south on Queen Street, but he was struck by a bullet and fell to the ground.

Anyone with information about the shooting or the whereabouts of others involved in the crime can call detectives at 712-6030 or 712-6077 or call the Crime Stoppers USVI confidential tip line at 1-800-222-8477.

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

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