Man charged in shooting last week in Paradise Mills


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ST. CROIX - Police arrested a 25-year-old man on charges that he shot another man during an argument last week.

Curtis Williams, of Paradise Mills housing community, was arrested at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday and charged with first-degree assault; using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence; unlawful possession of a firearm; possession of ammunition; and failure to report a firearm brought into the territory.

He appeared Wednesday before V.I. Superior Court Judge Robert Molloy to be advised of his rights on the charges and faces a sentence of more than 20 years in prison.

According to the report filed by V.I. Police Detective Antonette Sergeant, officers were called to investigate a shooting incident in the Paradise Mills housing community some time after 8 p.m. Saturday.

Once police were notified, they made contact with the shooting victim, who had been taken to Luis Hospital for treatment for three gunshot wounds to his left arm, Sergeant said.

Sergeant said she interviewed the victim, who reported that some time last week, he and Williams were involved in an altercation involving a relationship with a woman.

The man said Williams threatened him and told him that Williams did not want to see him in the area ever again.

The man told police that because he also lives in that area, he was there on Saturday, and Williams walked up behind him and yelled out to him, saying, "Thought I told you not to come back around here."

The man said he told Williams that he did not want any trouble, but Williams lifted his shirt, brandished a firearm in his waistband then pulled out the gun and fired three shots at the victim before leaving the area, police said.

During Wednesday's hearing, Assistant Public Defender Yolan Brow Ross made a motion asking that Williams be released upon posting an unsecured bond in the amount of bail, which had been set at $75,000. Ross said Williams is unemployed and does not have the financial means to satisfy the bail amount, and to demand that bail is fully secured would be a financial detainer.

Deputy Attorney General Bruce Marshack objected to the request, raising the fact that Williams currently is on probation on two separate cases and possibly could be facing a revocation hearing.

Marshack said Williams was charged with first-degree assault in a 2009 incident; he was allowed to plead it down to a lesser included charge of third-degree assault and was sentenced to some jail time and probation. Marshack said it is clear that Williams is a danger to the community and specifically to the man he shot in the unprovoked attack.

Molloy asked why Williams was not charged with attempted murder, as the shooting was a calculated act. The judge said the victim identified Williams as the shooter, which significantly strengthens the case against him.

Because of the seriousness of the charges against him, the significant jail time that he faces and the fact that he is already on probation, Molloy said he believes Williams is a danger and a flight risk.

The judge said Williams' pre-trial release would be based on posting 10 percent of the $75,000 bail, securing a third-party custodian who does not live in the Paradise Mills housing community and being placed on 24-hour house arrest with the use of an electronic monitoring device.

Unable to meet the conditions, Williams remains jailed at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility.

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

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