St. Croix police arrest 3rd man in connection with Frederiksted murder


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ST. CROIX - It has been almost four months since the fatal shooting of Wellington Pennyfeather Jr. on the streets of Frederiksted and detectives are still making arrests in the case, extraditing a third person back to the territory Friday to face murder charges.

Angel Luis Ilarraza - also known as Luisito Ilarraza, "Green Eyes" and Angel Almestica - arrived back in the territory just before 2 p.m. Friday, escorted from Florida by two V.I. Police Major Crime detectives.

He is 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.

Shortly after the shooting, V.I. Police spokeswoman Melody Rames said Ilarraza had been identified as a suspect in the murder and believed that he had fled the territory. His name was listed on the National Crime Information Center database and police in Florida were able to assist local officers with locating him last week, which subsequently led to his apprehension and arrest.

At 7:37 p.m. Feb. 1, Frederiksted residents reported hearing multiple gunshots ring out into the night.

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

Pennyfeather had gotten into an altercation with at least one other man, according to Rames. And, when the shots were fired, Pennyfeather attempted to run south on Queen Street, but was struck by a bullet and fell to the ground.

March 27, Juan "Jaunky" Ilarraza, 24, made his initial court appearance before V.I. Superior Court Judge Harold Willocks charged with identical counts as those against Angel Ilarraza. He also was taken into custody in Florida.

Weeks before that, Ronald "Indu" Bogan of William's Delight made his court appearance charged in mirrored counts in the slaying after being extradited from Puerto Rico, where police said he fled to as he tried to evade capture and prosecution.

Assistant Attorney General Cornelius Evans asked the court to set bail at $1 million, for each of the men, saying that because they had fled the territory, they should be considered flight risks.

Based on information provided to police, Evans said that after the homicide, the men took a small boat to Vieques. The Ilarrazas then flew to Florida.

The affidavit in support of the warrants remains under seal by court order, making details about the specifics of how the crime was carried out and who else may be involved, available only to defense and prosecuting attorneys.

Last week, police additionally charged Juan Ilarraza with possession of stolen property saying that they had evidence that in the days that followed the murder, he possessed a gold chain stolen from Pennyfeather.

Angel Ilarraza is being held without bail at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility, at least until he makes his initial court appearance which is expected to take place at 9 a.m. Monday in V.I. Superior Court.

Angel Ilarraza two co-defendants are also being held at the prison.

Despite the arrests of the three men, Rames said Friday that the case is still under active investigation and continue to seek support from the community.

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

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