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Bail Set at $10,000 for Suspect in Reopened Murder Case from 2000

June 3, 2008 — Bail has been set at $10,000 for 27-year-old Ian P. Tracy, who was advised of his rights Tuesday on second-degree murder, first-degree assault and weapons charges in the 2000 shooting death of Adassa Rolle.
In early February, V.I. Superior Court Judge Leon Kendall found probable cause to reissue a warrant for Tracy's arrest, based on evidence and a police affidavit filed eight years ago. The affidavit, written up by Police Cpl. Delbert Phipps, was re-filed in Superior Court after Tracy was arrested early Monday afternoon at Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas. No new evidence has been collected since the case first came under investigation in early 2001, according to Department of Justice spokeswoman Sara Lezama.
"This is about reassessing the facts in the case and the evidence that currently exists," Lezama explained Tuesday.
Kendall had set Tracy's bail at $100,000. During a hearing in Superior Court Tuesday, Judge Michael C. Dunston said Tracy could be released into the custody of his wife after he had posted 10 percent of that amount — or $10,000 — in cash. After receiving no objections from prosecuting attorneys, Dunston said Tracy could return to his residence in New York and continue working, but has to travel back to the territory for court appearances and check in weekly via telephone with probation officers.
Any request to travel more than 100 miles away from Tracy's residence must be cleared by the court, Dunston said. Once on the mainland, Tracy's wife will act as his third-party custodian during the "evening hours," and his business partner will act as a third-party custodian during the day, the judge added.
Tracy's arraignment has been tentatively set for next Thursday. However, the hearing could be held within the next two days if prosecuting attorneys have a chance to interview Tracy and "clear up" some issues raised by the defense, according to U.S. Attorney Anthony Jenkins, who is jointly prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.
Prosecutors originally argued that Tracy's account of the murder was inconsistent with evidence — particularly lacerations on Tracy's left hand that, according to police testimony, signified improper handling of a semi-automatic weapon. Phipps testified in 2001 that evidence of a gunpowder burn was found on Rolle's face, indicating she was shot at close range. (See "Judge Finds Cause to Charge Tracy with Murder.")
In late 2001, however, prosecutors moved to dismiss Tracy's case without prejudice — meaning the charges could be re-filed at a later date — after preliminary DNA results indicated there was another man on the scene when Rolle, Tracy's girlfriend at the time, was murdered. Statements made at the time by then Attorney General Iver Stridiron said the results supported what Tracy told homicide detectives from the beginning of the investigation: that an armed man had approached him and his girlfriend while the two were parked at Green Cay Plantation and attempted to rob them.
The perpetrator's gun went off as he and Tracy struggled, with one of the bullets hitting Rolle in the head, according to Tracy's account of the incident. A local medical examiner pronounced Rolle's cause of death as a single gunshot wound to the head.
No weapon has been recovered in the case.
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June 3, 2008 -- Bail has been set at $10,000 for 27-year-old Ian P. Tracy, who was advised of his rights Tuesday on second-degree murder, first-degree assault and weapons charges in the 2000 shooting death of Adassa Rolle.
In early February, V.I. Superior Court Judge Leon Kendall found probable cause to reissue a warrant for Tracy's arrest, based on evidence and a police affidavit filed eight years ago. The affidavit, written up by Police Cpl. Delbert Phipps, was re-filed in Superior Court after Tracy was arrested early Monday afternoon at Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas. No new evidence has been collected since the case first came under investigation in early 2001, according to Department of Justice spokeswoman Sara Lezama.
"This is about reassessing the facts in the case and the evidence that currently exists," Lezama explained Tuesday.
Kendall had set Tracy's bail at $100,000. During a hearing in Superior Court Tuesday, Judge Michael C. Dunston said Tracy could be released into the custody of his wife after he had posted 10 percent of that amount -- or $10,000 -- in cash. After receiving no objections from prosecuting attorneys, Dunston said Tracy could return to his residence in New York and continue working, but has to travel back to the territory for court appearances and check in weekly via telephone with probation officers.
Any request to travel more than 100 miles away from Tracy's residence must be cleared by the court, Dunston said. Once on the mainland, Tracy's wife will act as his third-party custodian during the "evening hours," and his business partner will act as a third-party custodian during the day, the judge added.
Tracy's arraignment has been tentatively set for next Thursday. However, the hearing could be held within the next two days if prosecuting attorneys have a chance to interview Tracy and "clear up" some issues raised by the defense, according to U.S. Attorney Anthony Jenkins, who is jointly prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.
Prosecutors originally argued that Tracy's account of the murder was inconsistent with evidence -- particularly lacerations on Tracy's left hand that, according to police testimony, signified improper handling of a semi-automatic weapon. Phipps testified in 2001 that evidence of a gunpowder burn was found on Rolle's face, indicating she was shot at close range. (See "Judge Finds Cause to Charge Tracy with Murder.")
In late 2001, however, prosecutors moved to dismiss Tracy's case without prejudice -- meaning the charges could be re-filed at a later date -- after preliminary DNA results indicated there was another man on the scene when Rolle, Tracy's girlfriend at the time, was murdered. Statements made at the time by then Attorney General Iver Stridiron said the results supported what Tracy told homicide detectives from the beginning of the investigation: that an armed man had approached him and his girlfriend while the two were parked at Green Cay Plantation and attempted to rob them.
The perpetrator's gun went off as he and Tracy struggled, with one of the bullets hitting Rolle in the head, according to Tracy's account of the incident. A local medical examiner pronounced Rolle's cause of death as a single gunshot wound to the head.
No weapon has been recovered in the case.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.