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Monday, October 3, 2022


Four days after a jury convicted him of attempting to murder his girlfriend with a machete, authorities continue to search for Rueben Jeff Vigilant.
Last Friday, a jury deliberated for just over three hours before finding Vigilant guilty of a 10-count charge that included one count of attempted murder, two of first-degree assault, one count of possession of a dangerous weapon during a crime of violence, three counts of mayhem, two of third-degree assault and one of aggravated assault and battery.
Vigilant was present for the first day of the two-day trial but Friday's proceedings were delayed for an hour and a half when Vigilant failed to turn up.
On Jan. 2, Vigilant slashed his girlfriend April Xavier with a machete 13 times after an argument erupted in front of the Xavier family's Smith Bay home. Xavier lost several of her fingers as a result of the attack and received severe injuries to her neck and head.
Vigilant was arrested Jan. 3.
Lynn Falkenthal, executive director of the Victim Advocate program, has been working with the family since the attack. Falkenthal said the Xavier family continues to be held in an undisclosed safe house until Vigilant is located.
So far, Falkenthal said she has received no word on Vigilant's whereabouts. Until he is found, she said, the Xavier family remains in danger.
"I couldn't understand the thought process of someone who would do that to another human being," she said.
Vigilant's bail had initially been set at $175,000 but Territorial Court Judge Ive A. Swan later released him on a $25,000 property bond.
Assistant Attorney General Lofton Holder, who prosecuted the case, said Swan has decided not to forfeit Vigilant's bail pending the outcome of the sentencing. A sentencing date has been set for July 21.
"My motion to have the bail forfeited was denied by the judge," Holder said.
Vigilant faces a maximum of 25 years in prison and an additional three years for the weapons charge.

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