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HomeNewsArchivesBail Set at $10,000 with House Arrest for Cockayne Murder Suspect

Bail Set at $10,000 with House Arrest for Cockayne Murder Suspect

Aug. 17, 2007 — A motion to detain St. John resident Anselmo Boston pending trial on first-degree murder, weapons and assault charges was shot down by a V.I. Superior Court Judge Friday after the prosecuting attorney showed up 30 minutes late to an early-morning hearing.
Instead, Superior Court Judge Brenda J. Hollar set Boston's bail at $10,000, placed him under house arrest and ordered him to wear an electronic monitoring device if released.
Boston, along with 18-year-old Kamal Thomas, is charged with the June 19 stabbing death of James "Jamie" Cockayne, which happened near the Front Yard Bar in Cruz Bay.
The motion to detain Boston was filed earlier this week by prosecuting attorney Brenda Scales. During a recent advice-of-rights hearing, Hollar said she would consider the motion during a pre-trial detention hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday. Boston has remained in jail pending the outcome of the hearing.
However, prosecuting attorneys did not make it into the courtroom on Friday until about 9:30 a.m. Also absent from the hearing was the case agent, Police Detective Mario Stout.
The affidavit, which includes statements taken from several witnesses to the incident, has raised concerns from Thomas' defense attorney, Clive Rivers. During another recent hearing, Rivers particularly noted that the document does not include statements taken from alibi witnesses, who place Thomas at a nearby beach around the time of the murder.
During Friday's hearing, Boston's defense attorney, Benjamin Currence, described Stout's absence as problematic, since attorneys on both sides would not be able to question him about his involvement in the case or the information included in the affidavit.
After calling the hearing to order, Hollar wasted no time in making a decision, telling Scales that the motion to detain Thomas would be dismissed without prejudice — meaning that the government could re-file the motion at a later date.
The judge also chastised Scales for her late appearance, saying that the hearing date and time had been set up in advance, giving the prosecution time to prepare its case and make it to the hearing by 9 a.m.
Scales attributed the late start to a communications error, and urged Hollar to set a $1 million bail for Boston. She argued that Boston, in a statement given to police, admitted to being involved in a verbal argument with Cockayne on the night of the murder, and striking the victim in the neck and shoulder with a pool stick.
"He has admitted to everything but the stabbing," she said. After stabbing Cockayne, Boston and other individuals fled the scene, Scales said.
"They didn't try to get him help,” she said. “They didn't try to get him to the doctor. They just left.”
Scales added that the case — which has attracted national media attention — has created tension on St. John, making witnesses reluctant to come forward if the suspects are released.
Thomas, who was arrested almost two weeks ago, has been charged with witness intimidation. Another suspect in the case, 31-year-old Ryan Meade, faces similar charges.
The detention motion also describes Boston as a flight risk, since he was allegedly trying to leave the territory for Antigua when he was arrested. But Scales said this information is incorrect — Boston was actually returning from Antigua when police picked up him at Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas, she said. Even so, she argued that Boston's ties to the community could "be a means for his escape."
Currence disagreed, telling Hollar that Boston was on a planned vacation with his girlfriend when he heard that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
"Once he heard about the warrant, he made arrangements with the police to come back to the territory," Currence added. "He turned himself in voluntarily."
Attorney General Vincent Frazer, contacted Friday afternoon, confirmed that Boston turned himself over to police upon his return to the territory. However, Frazer added that Boston had not, in the interim, contacted VIPD or officials from the Department of Justice.
The government might re-file the detention motion, and should come to a decision within the next few days, Frazer added.
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