St. Thomas murder suspect is also wanted on drug charges in Florida
Published: September 27, 2011
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ST. THOMAS - A St. Thomas man charged with first-degree murder in connection with a 2005 stabbing in Anna's Retreat also could be extradited to Florida, where he is wanted on drugs and gun charges.
Carlton Creque Jr., 24, of Anna's Retreat strode quickly into the courtroom Friday afternoon for his advice-of-rights hearing before V.I. Superior Court Judge Adam Christian.
"Afternoon," Creque said in a soft voice to all present.
As the 6-foot 2-inches detainee sat at the defense bench in a scarlet Bureau of Corrections jumpsuit, Christian advised Creque of his rights on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the May 30, 2005, stabbing of Euclid Smith Jr.
Creque faces other charges on unrelated warrants outstanding in Leon County, Fla., and additional charges on St. Thomas, including first-degree assault, attempted murder, third-degree assault and possessing a dangerous weapon.
Police arrested Creque June 6 on a pending fugitive from justice charge for the outstanding charges in Tallahassee, Fla. When police re-arrested Creque on Friday on the murder charges, they found a spotless .40-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol wedged in his waistband, according to a report filed by V.I. Police Officer Kyle Gabriel.
The silver-topped gun's magazine held 14 bullets, according to police photos.
V.I. Assistant Attorney General Doug Sprotte told the court that extradition was an option in Creque's case.
"Just for clarification, Florida will be willing to extradite?" asked public defender Samuel Joseph.
"As of today, yes," Sprotte said. "We are very willing to extradite."
The Leon County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Creque is wanted on failure to appear in court on charges of carrying a concealed firearm, possession of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver and cultivating cannabis.
Whether Creque's extradition would precede local charges for murder would depend on the case and the agreement between Gov. John deJongh and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, according to V.I. Attorney General Vincent Frazer.
"It depends," Frazer said. "It's a matter between the governor of the Virgin Islands and the governor of Florida - they come to an agreement. We've recognized the extradition request."
Police spokeswoman Melody Rames said Creque's extradition would not override his requirement to stand trial for charges in each jurisdiction.
"In the case of a suspect accused of crimes in two jurisdictions, he will first be tried in the V.I.," Rames said. "We are prepared for a conviction."
Rames said an extradition would have to follow the trial in Superior Court.
"In case the V.I. crime gets overturned on appeal or by other means, the suspect will begin serving the sentence for the crime in the other jurisdiction," Rames said. "Otherwise once the first sentence is served, the suspect will begin serving the second sentence."
There is no statute of limitations on murder charges.
The 2005 murder charges stem from a chase reported the night of May 30, according to an affidavit filed by Police Cpl. Delbert Phipps. A witness told police that several young men were in the street who the victim said had been bothering him, Phipps wrote. The witness approached the young men and recalled being knocked down in the street by a metal chair, according to the affidavit.
The witness told police he saw Smith on the ground, "with blood coming from his back, and he could hear the air gushing from his body as he breathed," according to Phipps.
Dr. Francisco Landron performed an autopsy on Smith's body May 31, 2005 and determined that he died from multiple stab wounds.
The witness told police he could identify the men responsible for the crime, but did not recognize anyone in the first group of photos police provided.
On July 2, 2005, the witness called police and reported that he saw one of the men near the Anna's Retreat basketball court. The witness later identified Creque's photo in connection with the stabbing.
The witness, "did not hesitate in pointing out the photo of Mr. Creque," Phipps wrote.
At Friday's hearing, Christian asked whether the defendant understood that a first-degree murder charge could result in a mandatory life sentence upon conviction.
"Yes, sir," Creque replied.
When Creque told the judge he would be able to afford a private defense attorney, Christian asked him when he would be able to do so.
"By the next time I go to court," Creque said.
Christian set Creque's bail at $500,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Sept. 29 in Superior Court.
- Contact reporter Michael Todd at 774-8772 ext. 304 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.