Shemar Richardson, 24, of Gene Hill, was denied bail and remanded to prison on April 23 after being charged with robbery in relation to a stick-up in Paraquita Bay that left a senior citizen dead.
According to prosecutors, Mr. Richardson provided accomplices with information that was “integral” to the robbery of $2,950 from his employer Maricel Pickering, which resulted in her 67-year-old mother being fatally shot.
After Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin read the charge, Crown Counsel Lyn Daley read the allegations.
At about 7 p.m. on April 18, Ms. Pickering, the owner and manager of Big Brother’s Gas Station in Baughers Bay, locked up the premises and gave Mr. Richardson, who has worked at the gas station for about eight years, a ride home, alleged Crown Counsel Lyn Daley.
Bag with cash
Carrying a plastic bag containing $3,100 in cash, Ms. Pickering drove Mr. Richardson to Gene Hill, where he and Ms. Pickering’s father live, according to the prosecutor.
After dropping off Mr. Richardson, Ms. Pickering visited her father’s home, where she fed the cats and gave her brother $150, leaving her with $2,950, the prosecutor read.
‘Give me the money’
Ms. Pickering then continued to her Paraquita Bay residence, and upon exiting her vehicle with the bag of cash, “she was startled by a male voice behind her saying, ‘Give me the money,’” Ms. Daley alleged.
Without looking behind her, Ms. Pickering started to run away, throwing the cash on the pavement as she heard what sounded like gunshots firing in her direction, the Crown counsel alleged.
She sought refuge near the back of a house while screaming for help, and eventually made her way back to her mother’s apartment, the prosecutor read.
But her mother, Catherine Pickering, had heard noises outside during the robbery and exited her house, where she had been shot, police have stated previously.
She was hospitalised in critical condition, and she died the next day, according to police.
Ms. Daley said Friday that officers called to the scene recovered bullet shells.
“The bag containing the money was never seen again,” she read.
On April 20, she added, Mr. Richardson was arrested and interviewed under caution.
During the interview, he admitted to playing a “minimal role in the robbery” by providing accomplices with details such as the gas station’s operating time; “who transported the money; and where it was taken,” according to the prosecutor.
Mr. Richardson also told the interviewing officers that on April 18, he had “furnished information” regarding that day’s sales, as well as when the establishment would close, Ms. Daley alleged.
“He admitted to giving the information and stated that he was sorry,” she added.
After Ms. Daley read the allegations against Mr. Richard-son on Friday, his attorney, Nellien Bute, made an application for bail.
Ms. Bute said the 24-year-old Virgin Islander has “no previous antecedents,” apparently referring to previous charges or convictions, and had been gainfully employed at the gas station for about eight years.
She claimed that her client does not pose a flight risk given his ties to the Virgin Islands; his willingness to surrender travel documents; and his mother’s willingness to sign his surety.
Ms. Daley, however, opposed bail, noting Mr. Richardson’s admission that he provided information that led to the alleged robbery and subsequent killing of Ms. Pickering’s mother; the seriousness of the offence; and his role in the evidence.
She also argued that the course of justice could be perverted, as Mr. Richardson’s alleged accomplices have not been apprehended and no gun was recovered from the scene.
Finally, Ms. Daley said he should be denied bail for his own protection, as he could face retaliation for cooperating with the police.
The magistrate sided with the prosecutor.
Given the ongoing investigations concerning assailants still at large, the “very likely” conviction of Mr. Richardson for such a serious crime, and the possibility of the defendant’s life being in danger, the magistrate said he could reasonably be considered a flight risk.
“He may very well see it fit not to make himself available to answer what he is facing,” Ms. Benjamin said before remanding the defendant to prison.
She scheduled his next hearing for May 27 via videolink.