Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin denied bail on June 27 for Michael Albert Hatchett, who faces three charges of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at his two brothers and their friend outside Bobby’s Supermarket in March. Prosecutors said Mr. Hatchett is charged with attempted murder, possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, unlawful possession of ammunition, causing criminal damage, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Additionally, he faces charges related to a previous alleged attack against his brother, Ron Hatchett, in December 2021, prosecutors said in court on June 27.
In connection with a separate incident on March 2, 2021, he also faces charges of breach of trust, false accounting, and theft related to his work as a government revenue officer working at the West End ferry terminal, according to the prosecutors.
Crown Counsel Kael London said in Magistrates’ Court on June 27 that Mr. Hatchett faces three separate complaints of attempted murder from his brothers Ron Hatchett and Ramos Hatchett and their friend Carlos Casey.
When reading the allegations on June 27, Mr. London said the two brothers and Mr. Casey went into Bobby’s Supermarket around 7 p.m. on March 20. He added that Ramos saw a silver Mazda SUV in the lot before entering the store.
Inside, the brothers allegedly saw the accused with “a young lady” in an aisle, Mr. London said. When they went to stand in line to check out, the accused stared at Ron Hatchett in what Ramos would later describe as a “very unpleasant manner,” according to Mr. London. The group switched to a different line, and then took their purchases out to their car, he added.
Outside, Ron and Ramos noted that the silver Mazda SUV was parked about five feet from their vehicle, Mr. London said.
The prosecutor added that Ron got in the passenger seat of their car and from there saw the driver’s door of the Mazda open and saw Albert allegedly standing in a “tilted position” with his hand inside his vehicle.
Then, Ramos allegedly told his companions, “He listening to your conversation,” the prosecutor said. Albert then allegedly pulled out a black handgun and pointed it at the complainants, according to Mr. London.
Mr. London said seven rapid-fire gunshots were heard in the parking lot, and the accused was then seen driving toward Republic Bank. The prosecutor said “substantial damage” was done to multiple vehicles in the parking lot. According to the initial police statement, however, the alleged shooting did not result in any injuries.
Royal Virgin Islands Police Force officers investigated the scene and searched the homes of Albert and his girlfriend, Mr. London said, adding that a firearm was recovered at her residence. Officers also reportedly recovered several rounds of ammunition at the scene, according to the prosecutor.
Albert was later informed, cautioned and charged in relation to the shooting. Mr. London said a final ballistic report is pending.
Two other Crown counsels then proceeded to read the other charges they said Albert currently faces.
The magistrate noted that there was no record of summons being delivered for the two earlier incidents, and she said she was unaware if they had in fact been delivered.
In addition to the attempted murder charges, Albert also faces charges of wounding related to an earlier incident that took place on Dec. 20, 2021, according to Crown Counsel Jamal Bridgewater.
In that matter, he is accused of wounding Ron, stealing a bag, and being armed with an offensive weapon — described as a long, metallic object — with intent to cause a criminal act, the prosecutor stated.
Around 10 a.m. near Rudy’s Lookout Bar, Ron was allegedly standing on the roadside facing Cane Garden Bay. Albert allegedly asked his brother about $200 he reportedly believed was owed to him before swinging twice with the metallic object, connecting once with Ron’s head, Crown counsel stated.
A “scuffle” ensued and Albert allegedly picked up a brown leather bag before running toward his jeep. Emergency responders took Ron to Dr. Orlando Smith Hospital, and Albert was formally charged on March 21, the Crown counsel said.
Separately, Albert faces charges related to his work stemming from a March 2, 2021 incident, according to the prosecutors. He is accused of stealing $540 from the government by destroying receipts and then pocketing the money, Senior Crown Counsel Patricia Hickson said, adding that the crime was captured on CCTV footage.
Defence attorney Valerie Stephens-Gordon, who represented Albert on the attempted murder charges, applied for bail, noting that he made no admissions when arrested and has no previous convictions.
However, Mr. London objected to bail given the seriousness of the charges, the fact that Albert and Ron had been involved in a previous altercation that led to a “concerning escalation” of violence, and the fact that multiple witnesses expressed fear for their safety.
Taking those concerns into account, the magistrate denied bail.
When the magistrate asked if Albert intended to seek legal representation for the charges unrelated to the attempted murders, he replied in the affirmative.
She scheduled a July 21 reporting date, with a trial date for all the incidents involving his brothers set for Oct. 27.