VIPD asks court to seal affidavit for murder suspect


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ST. THOMAS - V.I. police have asked the court to seal information about the arrest of murder suspect Akebo Thomas, who appeared Wednesday in V.I. Superior Court for his advice-of-rights hearing.

Thomas, 40, was arrested Tuesday on charges of first- and second-degree murder, first- and third-degree assault, reckless endangerment and four counts of unauthorized possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Thomas would receive a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

Thomas is accused of shooting and killing Avery Hodge, 20, whose funeral is today.

Thomas, who already is listed as a felon, has a long list of convictions and charges, some of which are outside of the territory. In the past, he has been charged with money laundering, child abuse, battery, drug possession, stalking and carrying a concealed weapon.

It is unclear how V.I. police tied Thomas to the murder, as the affidavit was sealed by the court after a request by V.I. Police detective Dwight Griffith.

Superior Court Judge Adam Christian, who read Thomas his rights in court Wednesday, also approved the warrant that allowed police to search Thomas's residence in the Oswald Harris Court housing community.

Thomas lives in building 21 of the community, one building from where police found Hodge laying shot at about 9 p.m. Jan. 3.

Hodge died at Roy Schneider Hospital the following day.

The warrant, which Christian signed Monday, allowed police specifically to seize any bloodied clothing, any white T-shirts, black short pants, black shirts, blue long pants and all communication devices.

It also allowed them to seize any firearms or related ammunition or items.

Also included in court documents that were not sealed were confirmations from the V.I. Police Department's firearms supervisors that Thomas never had a license to possess a firearm within the territory.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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