St. Croix police seek to rearrest two men charged with attempted murder
Published: September 27, 2013
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ST. CROIX - Police are looking for two men to rearrest them on attempted murder charges after a previous case against them was dismissed in V.I. Superior Court.
V.I. Police spokeswoman Melody Rames said police are seeking help from the community to locate Obala Joseph and Brandon Nesbitt, who detectives say are wanted for an attempted murder that occurred on Oct. 7, 2011, in Bethlehem Village.
The men fired multiple gunshots at a man and woman, with stray bullets striking a nearby home and almost hitting a young girl, according to an affidavit written by V.I. Police Detective Leon Cruz.
According to Cruz, one of the victims approached police on Oct. 10 and described the shooting, saying they saw a red, two-door Honda Civic parked outside a home where the victim and another person were talking. As the man walked away, the assailant in the passenger's side opened the door and opened fire at him, according to Cruz.
The man ran from the gunfire, but bullets trailed him through the residential area, Cruz said. The assailant on the driver's side of the car got out and began firing at the man before turning his weapon toward a woman who was standing nearby, according to Cruz.
The woman made her way back to her home, where she found her daughter crying because she had almost been hit by a stray bullet, Cruz said. The home had been struck by two bullets, according to Cruz.
Two witnesses identified the driver as "Obala" and picked out Joseph in photo arrays, Cruz said.
On Oct. 29, 2011, Cruz saw a two-door red Civic matching the description given and stopped the car, he said. Nesbitt was behind the wheel and admitted he did not have a driver's license, Cruz said. The vehicle and Nesbitt matched descriptions given by witnesses who tied the car to the Mutual Homes housing community.
Witnesses later identified Nesbitt in photo arrays as the second shooter, Cruz said.
In the information filed by the V.I. Attorney General's Office, Deputy Attorney General Bruce Marshack said the men were in possession of an AK-47 assault rifle and a 9 mm handgun.
The men had been released on bail while the case was pending, and the case subsequently was dismissed without prejudice, giving prosecutors the option to re-file the case against them, which they have.
Rames said detectives are asking the community's help in locating both men, and residents who may have seen them can call police at 712-6077 or 712-6037, or call the Crime Stoppers USVI tip line at 1-800-222-8477.
Anyone found harboring the men or found withholding information about their location can face criminal charges, Rames said.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.