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Bond Set for Cockayne Murder Suspect

Aug. 6, 2007 — A hearing sometime over the next three days will determine whether 18-year-old Kamal "Six Pack" Thomas, charged with the widely publicized killing of St. John resident James "Jamie" Cockayne, will be detained without bail pending an upcoming trial.
Cockayne, who had recently moved to St. John, was stabbed to death some time after midnight on June 19 in downtown Cruz Bay. According to police reports, Cockayne was transported by ambulance to the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m. (See "St. John Man Arrested in Cockayne Murder.")
During an advice-of-rights hearing held in V.I. Superior Court Monday, prosecuting attorney Renee Gumbs Carty said she had recently filed a motion requesting a detention hearing for Thomas. Since the defense had not yet reviewed the document, Superior Court Judge Leon H. Kendall said that a pre-trial detention hearing — which will determine whether the motion will be granted — would be scheduled within the next three days.
In the meantime, Thomas will be held at the Golden Grove Correctional Facility on St. Croix on first-degree murder and assault charges, along with the charge of using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence.
Police picked up Thomas, a native of Atlanta, Ga., and resident of Gifft Hill, on Friday after a warrant for his arrest was issued by Superior Court Judge Brenda J. Hollar.
Kendall also found probable cause to hold Thomas on another charge — allegedly intimidating or retaliating against the witness who reported the murder to the police. In this instance, Kendall found Thomas to be a flight risk, with no substantial ties to the community.
Thomas will be held on a $25,000 surety bond, Kendall said. "This means that someone has to post a piece of property that is two times the value of the bond — or $50,000 — in order for you to be released," the judge explained to Thomas.
During Monday's hearing, Thomas remained subdued — generally keeping his head bowed and eyes lowered — as Kendall advised him of his rights. At some points, he shook his head or moved his shoulders erratically. Under questioning from the judge, Thomas also kept his hands behind his back, often playing with a small section of his shirt.
Thomas rarely looked at Kendall when answering questions, and kept his voice low. Unlike others in the courtroom, Thomas' red Bureau of Corrections uniform was disheveled, and his hair — approximately two or three inches long — stuck out from his head.
Thomas' arraignment on the charge of intimidating a witness is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 16.
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