Jan. 2, 2004 – A 22-year-old St. Thomas man who is alleged to have stabbed his brother to death on New Year's Day morning is jailed in lieu of $600,000 bail. V.I. police have slapped charges of first- and second-degree murder, first- and third-degree assault and two weapons-related charges in connection with the death of Glenford Prince's teen-aged brother, 17-year-old-Isiah Pereira.
At an advice-of-rights hearing at Territorial Court Friday morning, detective Mario Stout testified that the stabbing was a culmination of an argument between the victim and suspect. "They are brothers who live in the same apartment and the confrontation started when Prince and Pereira argued over who has a right to be in the apartment."
The victim and suspect resided with their mother and a younger sister at Apartment 140, Building 8, at Tutu Hi-Rise housing community, according to testimony Friday before Judge Ive A. Swan.
Pereira, who suffered two stab wounds to the chest, died at the scene, Stout said.
Police recovered a "bloody six-inch kitchen knife" from the apartment, Stout told the court. Stout testified that, in a statement to police, Prince said that he and his brother were alone in the apartment and that he locked his brother inside "to show him who was older."
The weapon charges include: possession of a dangerous weapon and possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a violent crime. "The defendant also told us that during the physical confrontation, he slammed his brother to the ground two times … then he saw him bleeding from the chest," Stout said under questioning from V.I. Justice Departnment's Renee Gumbs-Carty, assistant attorney general.
Prince, a native-born St. Thomian, sat handcuffed at the defense counsel's table in an orange-red two-piece V.I. Corrections Bureau outfit during the brief Friday court proceeding.
Prince and defense attorney Leslie Payton appeared surprised when the government made a motion to set bail at $500,000 only to have Swan raise it higher to $600,000. Swan told Payton that his client "has been charged with the ultimate crime … he faces life in prison without parole if convicted." Under Payton's continued questioning about bail, Swan said repeatedly, "where will he live if he posts a lower bail … at the same house with siblings and mother … the same house where he is alleged to have killed his brother?" This is not a case where two people argue and one is killed, Swan said, "this is a case where Mr. Prince is alleged to have killed his sibling … over mano-machoness." Swan also expressed doubt that Prince's mother would "welcome him home after allegedly killing her other son."
"I don't think it will sit well at all with the others involved," Swan said.
Swan told Payton to file motions for bail reduction and he will review them in the days ahead.
The stabbing death of Isiah Periera on Jan. 1 is the first homicide reported in the territory in 2004.
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