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Governor Grants Clemency to Five Inmates

The Alexander Farrelly Criminal Justice Complex in St. Thomas is a source of concern following recent allegations of corrections officers asleep on the job. (File photo)
The Alexander Farrelly Criminal Justice Complex in St. Thomas  (File photo)

Governor Albert Bryan Jr. commuted the sentences of three former inmates and pardoned two on Friday, May 31.

Gov. Bryan commuted the life sentences of Alexander Viust, 51, and Denise L. Donovan, 64, to time served.

Viust had been serving a sentence of life in prison plus 15 years for first-degree murder and first-degree assault in Virginia where, for 28 years, he took advantage of rehabilitation programs and became a tutor and translator.

Donovan was convicted of first-degree murder and was serving a sentence of life in prison without parole. While jailed at the John A. Bell Adult Correctional Facility on St. Croix since 2003, Donovan shared her domestic violence story and had been involved with bible studies and mentoring fellow inmates.

The governor commuted the sentence of Michael Davis, 50, from 15 years to time served. Davis was convicted of third-degree assault and unauthorized use of a firearm in 2015 and had served eight years at the Citrus County Detention Facility in Florida. Davis was a model inmate who earned his high school diploma while incarcerated.

Governor Bryan pardoned the convictions of Latoya Nicole Smith, 34, and Kevin Allong, 53.

Smith pleaded guilty in 2016 to third-degree assault and was sentenced to three years in prison with all but six months suspended. While incarcerated, Smith became a certified phlebotomist and is working to become certified as a licensed practical nurse.

Allong was convicted in 1991 of being an accessory after the fact to murder and was sentenced to five years in prison. In March 1996, he completed his incarceration and has committed no crimes since his discharge. Allong obtained a General Education Diploma (GED) and has remained employed.

By granting these pardons, Governor Bryan hopes to offer Ms. Smith and Mr. Allong a second chance to positively progress in their lives and unlock improved employment opportunities in the future.

The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the Territory’s people, infrastructure, and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government, and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit https://transparency.vi.gov

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