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Thursday, September 29, 2022
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Arrested Officers Released Without Bail

The two V.I. police officers arrested Thursday, one for allegedly stealing bail money and the other on charges of aggravated child abuse, were released on their own recognizance pending trial by V.I. Magistrate Judge Alan Smith, who advised them of their rights.

At the time of their arrest, bail for officers Gary Gumbs and Eugene Somersall was set at $10,000 unsecured bond each. Both were placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of their cases, according to a VIPD press release Thursday.

The two officers were arrested Thursday on separate warrants. Gumbs, a recent addition to the police force, is charged with aggravated child abuse and child neglect in connection with the shooting death of a 2-year-old at his home in Estate Lovenlund on February 14.

Both charges were upheld by the judge during Friday’s advice of rights hearing.

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According to an affidavit filed by Police Sgt. Jason Marsh, Gumbs returned home from duty around midnight, and put his service weapon under a pillow on his bed before going to sleep.

Gumbs’ girlfriend and two toddlers, ages one and two, were also in the bed. The children — referred to as T.G. and B.G. in the documents — were left alone to sleep and later play in the room after the couple awoke in the morning and went to the kitchen to make breakfast. Eventually, Gumbs and his girlfriend heard a "loud bang," and went to the bedroom to investigate, the affidavit said.

"That upon entering the bedroom, T.G. was observed with a gunshot wound to the forehead, and B.G. was standing nearby," with Gumbs’ service weapon on the floor between them, Marsh wrote.

Gumbs then allegedly put the firearm in his dresser drawer, called 911 and requested an ambulance. At that point, T.G. was still breathing, the court documents said.

A subsequent medical examiner’s report says the toddler died from a gunshot wound to the head. The bullet, according to soot and gunpowder traces referenced in the report, was fired from less than six inches away from his forehead.

Somersall, a 20-year VIPD veteran, is being charged with embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretense and grand larceny. The charges, all of which were also upheld by Smith during Friday’s hearing, stem from an internal police investigation that looked into three incidents of bail bond money being stolen from the Richard Callwood Command.

Somersall was able to produce a receipt to the individual posting the bail, but the money was never received by the V.I. Superior Court, according to court documents.

Both officers are being arraigned at 9 a.m. on Oct. 21.

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