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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 21, 2024


The 24-year-old suspect in the shooting death of Jason Carroll on Main Street earlier this year has been formally indicted by a federal grand jury for that crime. Hospital Ground resident Deshaune Harrigan will face trial on charges of first-degree murder, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number and possession of a firearm in a school zone.
U.S. Attorney James Hurd Jr. is not participating in the case against Harrigan, because the victim was the son of First Assistant U.S. Attorney James Carroll. A trial attorney from the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., will prosecute the case along with Guy H. Mitchell, Chief of the Criminal Division of the V.I. Justice Department.
Harrigan was to have been prosecuted in Territorial Court, but Attorney General Iver Stridiron said the overlap of the local and federal charges provided an opportunity to use the federal grand jury system. That a local and federal prosecutor will work together on the case is the result of cooperation begun sometime ago.
"Over the past several years prosecutors, both federal and local, have taken turns prosecuting cases in each other's area of jurisdiction. There are also cases where the federal grand jury has been empanelled to investigate a local case because of its potential for federal jurisdiction," Stiridiron said.
Taking preliminary evidence of a crime to a grand jury, Stridiron said, has advantages for both the prosecution and the defense. The advantage is that before trial prosecutors can bring evidence before the grand jury including witness testimony. "What we have found is that in the past, witnesses are reluctant to step forward with information," Stridiron said.
He explained that bringing a witness to the grand jury "provides us the opportunity to hear testimony and decided whether to go forward on a particular case or subject it to further investigation."
Stridirion said he wishes the territory had the grand jury system, since it would remove prosecutorial discretion from the Attorney General's Office. "It's a daunting task for the Attorney General to have the final say in prosecuting cases without having the benefit of having a grand jury that can hear preliminary information," Stridiron said. He noted that he has testified before the Legislature in support of a local grand jury system, and that several members are on record as supporting it.

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