Police: Couple covered up fatal accident

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ST. CROIX - Police arrested a Frederiksted couple on charges that they aided and abetted each other in covering up a hit-and-run accident that led to the death of a pedestrian in March.

Gregory Marcus, 49, and Jazmine Linares, 32, both appeared before Magistrate Judge Jessica Gallivan on Monday morning and were charged with negligent homicide, involuntary manslaughter, failure to report an accident, operating an unregistered vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, knowledge of a felony and accessory after the fact in connection to the March 12 incident.

According to court document filed by V.I. Police Officer Tabia Pennyfeather, police were dispatched to the Williams Delight area on Queen Mary Highway about 4:40 a.m., after residents reported that a body was in the middle of the road.

Officers found a pedestrian, now identified as 40-year-old Eli Moving, who had been struck by a vehicle. The driver did not stop to render assistance, according to Pennyfeather. Moving was pronounced dead just after 6 a.m. at Luis Hospital.

On the day of the accident, witnesses told police they saw a gold or light-colored vehicle heading east hit the victim, turn around and flee west.

Police appealed to the public for information on any vehicle fitting the description that may be undergoing body work to repair front-end damage.

Police spoke with body shops and mechanics across the island, asking them to be on the lookout for a car that fit the description and that had been recently damaged, Pennyfeather said.

A mechanic reported that someone had brought in a gold vehicle to the shop asking for it to be repaired, adding that the car had significant damaged to its headlights, fender, hood and door, according to Pennyfeather.

The mechanic told police that he did not touch the car because he thought it looked suspicious. After arrangements were made for police to inspect the vehicle, the mechanic said the vehicle had been moved.

Police located the vehicle some days later and tracked its owner, Marcus, at his place of employment. Police found damage to the lights, hood, fender, bumper and door and blood and hair on the car, so they impounded it, according to court documents.

Marcus was advised of his rights and notified of the collision, according to Pennyfeather. He said his girlfriend, Linares, dropped him at work early in the morning, and when she came back to pick him up, that was when he saw that his vehicle had been damaged, Pennyfeather said, adding that he refused to cooperate further.

While Marcus was being questioned by police, Linares came to visit him, and she also was advised that she was a person of interest in the case. Pennyfeather said Linares told police that she took Marcus to work that day and then picked him up, but she did not see the damage to the vehicle or know anything about where the damages came from.

Pennyfeather said forensic testing matched glass and metal debris from the crash scene to the car.

Gallivan set bail at $25,000 each and allowed their release to third-party custodians while the case is pending. Linares was allowed to sign an unsecured bond in the amount of the bail, and Marcus was allowed to post 10 percent of the bail in cash and sign an unsecured bond for the balance.

Marcus and Linares are scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 16 and could face more than 20 years in jail if convicted.

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

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