Four days after Hurricane Irma devastated the Virgin Islands, Andraes Norford, an inmate who had left the prison grounds in the aftermath of the storm, visited the Greenland residence of Julio Pineda Caesar, according to acting Director of Public Prosecutions Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit.
While an associate of Mr. Caesar — who ran a cash-for-gold business — was showing him a chain, Mr. Norford and two other assailants, wearing masks and armed with guns and a machete, entered the residence, Ms. Scatliffe-Esprit alleged in Magistrates’ Court on Jan. 15.
Messrs. Norford and Caesar got locked in a “brief struggle,” which ended with Mr. Norford shooting Mr. Caesar in the head, according to the prosecutor.
While Mr. Caesar was on the ground, “a second assailant shot him in the chest,” and Mr. Norford and the others jumped into a green Suzuki and fled the scene, Ms. Scatliffe-Esprit said of the Sept. 10, 2017 incident.
Police were called shortly after the shots rang out, and Mr. Caesar was taken to Peebles Hospital, where he eventually died from brain damage and brain stem suppression, according to the acting DPP.
Ms. Scatliffe-Esprit said there were several eyewitness accounts of Mr. Norford’s movements the day of the alleged murder.
Police investigations revealed that on the afternoon of the killing he was spotted with three other people driving in the direction of Mr. Caesar’s residence, and was seen driving away from the residence shortly afterward, according to the allegations.
On Jan. 15, Mr. Norford was taken to Road Town Police Station, where officers informed him of the allegations, read him his rights, and arrested him on a murder charge, Ms. Scatliffe-Esprit read to the court.
During his police interview, “The accused stayed silent,” she alleged.
While reading the allegations to the court, the prosecutor said police had not yet identified the other assailants and would not reveal the identities of the eyewitnesses.
After his allegations were read in court last week, Mr. Norford was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison without bail.
“This court cannot give an offer of bail,” Ms. Scatliffe-Esprit advised, adding, “If [the accused] takes it up at a higher court we surely will oppose.”
Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste DaBreo adjourned Mr. Norford’s trial until March 26, when he is scheduled to appear before High Court for paper committal.