V.I. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Mackay on Tuesday sentenced Emanuel Greer to 10 years in prison for an ear-biting incident that occurred in June 2016, according to the V.I. Department of Justice.
In a news release, the DOJ reported that the 47-year-old Greer, of Calabash Boom on St. John, was punished on the single charge of mayhem, 10 months after a jury convicted him of biting off a piece of Akeimo Williams’ right ear, leaving him permanently disfigured.
“This matter has changed my life tremendously and forever,” Williams told the court at Greer’s sentencing. “Even at nights I can’t sleep on my ear because it’s uncomfortable; I still feel pain at times.”
Greer has had two prior felony convictions, so Attorney General Claude Walker recommended he be sentenced under the Habitual Offender Act and be imprisoned for 20 years.
“When we aggressively prosecute cases like this, we are telling the criminal element that the good people of the Virgin Islands will never become accustomed to destructive behavior,” Walker said. “We will not only reserve our outrage for murder cases, but also for cases such as this, where the defendant has permanently altered the victim’s life in a disfiguring and harmful way.”
In handing down her sentence, Judge Mackay told Greer that as he is subject to the Habitual Offender Statute because of his two previous convictions, he will be sentenced to 10 years’ incarceration without being eligible for probation, parole or early release and that no portion of his sentence is suspended.
According to Williams’ testimony at trial, on the morning of June 4, 2016, he was on the ferry traveling to St. John. Greer also was aboard the boat, pacing back and forth and talking aloud to himself. Williams and Greer exchanged words after Greer told Williams and another man that their voices were bothering him. Greer threatened to throw Williams over the side of the boat and drown him.
According to the DOJ, when the boat docked in St. John, Williams disembarked the vessel. As he was walking to work, Greer attacked him, latched onto his ear four times, growled like a dog and bit into his ear until a portion of his ear came off, Williams told the court.
Williams was taken to Myrah Keating Clinic for treatment; however, doctors were unable to reattach the piece to his ear, according to court documents.
When given the opportunity to address the court on his own behalf, Greer said he was “truly sorry for the problems I caused this court.”
Immediately after he was sentenced, Greer was taken into custody and remanded to the Bureau of Corrections to begin serving his sentence.
Assistant Attorney General Nadja Harrigan argued the case for the prosecution.