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Cruz Bay
Sunday, December 3, 2023


Sen. Gregory Bennerson took the stand Monday in the trial of three men charged with murder in connection with the death of Dr. Janet Morgan in February 1997.
Morgan was killed after three masked men broke into the house in Estate Belvedere where she lived with Paul Hess, demanded money and started shooting. Remy Augustin, 22, Lestroy Bright, 25, and Bryan Felix, 23, were indicted earlier this year on charges of murder and armed robbery.
According to a report in the V.I. Daily News, Bennerson was the supervisor of the police Forensics Unit on the day of the murder, Feb. 24, 1997, and arrived on the scene at 1:30 a.m. On the stand, he identified photos he took that morning.
Bennerson said Morgan apparently was already dead, and Hess had a gunshot wound to the leg. Bennerson said he later found bullets in the bed frame and on the ground.
Another officer, Marisol Colon, testified Monday that when she responded to the scene, Hess was "hysterical."
The Daily News reported that the day began with Hess on the stand responding to questions from Ronald Russell, the attorney for Bright, who asked Hess where his cell phone was after the shooting. Hess said he was simply trying to get help and didn't think to look for his cell phone.
Under questioning, Hess admitted to using marijuana and said he did not know whether the marijuana in the house at the time of the shooting was stolen. Questioned further by Russell, he said he had not had problems in the past buying poor quality marijuana.
Prosecutor Bruce Marshack later questioned witnesses who told a grand jury that Bright had talked about the shooting. Marshack read the testimony of Jaime Delgado back to him, specifically that Bright had visited Delgado soon after the shooting and told him "he just killed a woman" in the house of some white people he once worked for.
But another witness, Arsdale Ferdinand, who testified before the grand jury about Bright telling him about "some woman" he killed, had difficulty remembering his testimony. When confronted with his written testimony by Marshack, Ferdinand said he could not read well.
The trial resumes Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., when Bennerson is expected to continue his testimony.

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