85 F
Cruz Bay
Friday, July 12, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesVIPD Detective Pleads Innocent to Murdering Ex-Girlfriend, Shooting Man

VIPD Detective Pleads Innocent to Murdering Ex-Girlfriend, Shooting Man

April 6, 2006 — V.I. Police Department Detective Joel Dowdye, wearing a red prison uniform in Superior Court, pleaded innocent Thursday to murder charges for allegedly gunning down an ex-girlfriend and shooting a local television personality.
On the morning of March 25, Dowdye allegedly entered the downtown Charlotte Amalie hotel room of ex-girlfriend Sharett James and companion Daren Stevens and opened fire.
James, 22, a receptionist at the lieutenant governor's office on the island of St. Thomas, died from a gunshot wound to the head. She was buried Monday.
Stevens, who hosts an entertainment show on WSVI-Channel 8, was shot in the abdomen and back, police said.
Stevens, 32, was released from the Schneider Regional Medical Center after emergency surgery, said hospital spokesman Amos Carty.
Dowdye was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
He surrendered to police a short time after the shooting.
Dowdye was off duty and not in uniform when the shooting occurred, police said, and has been suspended without pay. It was not clear if a police weapon was used in the crime.
Superior Court Judge Rhys S. Hodge ordered Dowdye remain held on suicide watch at the psychiatric ward of the hospital as ordered by a judge in a March 27 advice of rights hearing.
Territorial Police Chief Novelle Francis Jr. said Dowdye had not had previous discipline problems and that the arrest shocked fellow officers who knew the detective to be hard working, dedicated and jovial.
No trial date has been set.
If convicted, Dowdye could be sentenced to life in prison.

Back Talk

Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.