St. Croix man facing rape, assault, robbery and gun charges in two separate cases takes global plea to dismiss all but one gun charge
Published: May 30, 2014
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ST. CROIX - A 28-year-old man with an extensive criminal background accepted a global plea Thursday afternoon that allowed him to dispose of pending charges involving allegations of rape, assault and gun possession.
Emmett Bramble, of Estate Strawberry appeared before V.I. Superior Court Judge Robert Molloy and accepted the prosecutors's deal, pleading guilty to a single charge of possession of an unlicensed firearm.
The charge stems from a 2012 case in which he was found in possession of a gun during a traffic stop and charged with the more serious crime of unauthorized possession of a firearm, third-degree assault and failure to register a firearm brought into the territory.
In exchange for Bramble pleading guilty, prosecutors agreed the remaining charges against him from the 2012 case would be dismissed a as well as charges from a pending 2010 case in which he was accused of kidnapping and raping a woman.
Bramble had initially entered not-guilty pleas in both cases and had been scheduled to go to trial later this summer.
Even with Bramble's extensive criminal history, prosecutors also agreed that they would not seek to treat him as a habitual offender, which would expose him to a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence in each of the cases.
Assistant Attorney General Melissa Ortiz told the court that if the 2012 case had gone to trial, prosecutors would be able to prove that during a routine traffic stop, Bramble, a passenger in a vehicle that had been stopped by police, refused to drop his firearm, pointed the loaded gun at a police officer's face and was only subdued by other officers after a struggle.
In accepting the plea, Bramble admitted only to having the gun on his waist, but said he never aimed it or had a struggle with police, but tossed the gun into some bushes as he got out of the vehicle.
At the time of the traffic stop, Bramble was out on bail in connection with a 2010 rape, robbery and assault case.
Police said Bramble has been arrested six times since 2003 on charges including robbery, firearm possession, weapon possession, assault, assault on an officer, rape, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Bramble has been jailed since his 2012 arrest, unable to post bail that had been set at $200,000 by Magistrate Miguel Camacho, who noted the nature of the crime, Bramble's criminal history and the fact that Bramble violated conditions of his pre-trial release in the rape case by possessing the gun.
In the Sept. 23, 2010, rape case, Bramble was charged with first-degree rape, first-degree robbery, third-degree assault and various weapons charges after a 26-year-old woman told police that she got a ride after she got off work at a local club with a man she had seen before but whose name she did not know.
She reported that the man forced her to have sexual intercourse with him, and during sex, he also stuck her with a knife several times, causing puncture wounds, according to police.
Bramble also was accused of taking some of the victim's personal items, according to the arrest blotter.
The woman told police she saw the man - later identified as Bramble - again weeks later at the club and confronted him. He pointed a gun at her, and she hit him in the head with a bottle, the woman told police.
The man punched her several times with his fists and then left, she said.
Following the plea hearing Thursday, Molloy scheduled sentencing for Bramble for Sept. 23 and said he would entertain a motion for his release now that the charges against him and his potential exposure have been significantly reduced. He now only faces up to five years in prison and has already served two years since his last arrest.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.