Shadrack Thompson, a 21-year-old Virgin Islander, was denied bail on Monday after the Magistrates’ Court heard allegations that he and another man robbed E&B Convenience Store in Palestina at gunpoint, taking about $300 in cash and an employee’s gold chain worth about $450.

In outlining the allegations during a virtual sitting on Monday, Crown Counsel O’Neal Simpson said the men entered the store on March 24 wearing masks and apparently carrying guns.

After the other assailant walked over to the cash register and aimed a gun at an employee, demanding that she hand over money from the register, Mr. Thompson approached a different employee and snatched a gold chain from around his neck, Mr. Simpson alleged.

The defendant then tried to enter the back office, but store owner William Winter, who was inside watching the robbery unfold over CCTV with his wife and daughter, had locked the door, the prosecutor said.

Mr. Thompson then joined his acquaintance at the cash register, and the two departed with about $300 cash and the chain and ran away, Mr. Simpson said.

Later, Mr. Winter reported the incident to the police, and the CCTV footage was extracted, the Crown alleged.

Police investigation

During an interview with police on April 16, Mr. Thompson denied knowledge of the alleged robbery, stating that he had not frequented the store in recent days, including the date of the crime, Mr. Simpson said.

Mr. Thompson refused police’s initial attempts to sample his fingerprints, but then acquiesced later that day, and his prints matched those found at the scene, according to the prosecutor.

Nonetheless, in another recorded interview after being fingerprinted, he maintained his innocence, the prosecutor said.

Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin told Mr. Thompson, who was unrepresented, that his case would be heard in High Court since it is an indictable matter.

She declined to offer bail, citing the strength of the evidence presented by the prosecution, the alleged use of a firearm, and the fact that the other alleged robber has not been apprehended.

Ms. Benjamin ordered Mr. Thompson to return to court for paper committal on May 28.


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