Two men charged in fatal shooting sentenced to prison terms after plea deals
Published: September 26, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - Two men convicted for their involvement in a fatal shooting in Hospital Ground in August 2011 were sentenced after making prior plea agreements.
V.I. Superior Court Judge Adam Christian on Tuesday sentenced Kamoui "Turtle" Francis to 10 years imprisonment for second-degree murder. Christian sentenced Kareem "Rubio" Smith to five years imprisonment and a fine of $5,000 for unauthorized possession of a firearm. Both also must pay $75 in court fees.
Francis and Smith were convicted for the death of Mao Penha, 38, who died Aug. 7, 2011, of multiple gunshot wounds, one of which was to his head.
Francis, 23, and Smith, 28, initially faced a slew of charges before they signed plea agreements Aug. 1.
Francis agreed to pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, which carries a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment.
Smith agreed to pleaded guilty to unauthorized possession of a firearm, which carries a minimum sentence of one year imprisonment, and a maximum of five, and a $5,000 fine.
In return, all other charges that Francis and Smith faced were dropped.
Francis and Smith initially faced 14 counts each, including identical charges of first- and second-degree murder; two counts of first-degree assault; attempted first-degree murder; third-degree assault; first-degree reckless endangerment; and a number of related weapons charges.
The police issued arrest warrants on Aug. 30, 2011, for Francis, Smith and one other man, Isaac "Sergie" Austrie, who also was believed to be involved in the shooting death of Penha.
Police shot and killed Austrie, 27, when they tried to arrest him in Smith Bay in connection with the Aug. 7 incident.
Police arrested Francis, who was 21 at the time, on Sept. 16, 2011, and they arrested Smith, who was 26 at the time, on Sept. 8, 2011.
Francis, Smith and Austrie all had been identified at the scene of the shooting by a second gunshot victim, whose forehead had been grazed by a bullet, according to court documents.
The surviving victim, whose name was not used in court documents, identified Francis, Smith and Austrie in a photo lineup and said that all three had been firing shots.
According to Penha's own testimony before he died at Schneider Hospital, he said that four men had pulled up to him in a vehicle the night of the incident.
They started to ask for Penha and he recalled one of them having an "AK," or an AK-47, a type of assault rifle. Penha said the next thing he recalled was that shots were being fired and he ran.
Penha was transported to the hospital, where he later died.
- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email email@example.com.