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Brief: Two Found Guilty in August 2009 Murder

A jury on St. Thomas Friday convicted two men in the August 2009 slaying of a woman in the Contant area, according to a statement from the Virgin Islands Department of Justice.

Nesta James, 29, and Denalson W. Merrifield, 25, were each found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Tameka Edwards, whose body was found Aug. 23, 2009, in front of a house in Estate Contant.

The men were also found guilty of unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a first-degree murder, first-degree assault and unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a first-degree assault.

Additionally, the jury found James guilty of the attempted first-degree murder of Alpheus Lettsome, who had driven Edwards to the house earlier in the day, and third-degree assault, unauthorized use of a firearm during commission of a third-degree assault and reckless endangerment in the first degree.

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Sentencing for the pair has been set for Feb. 28.

Edwards’ body was discovered by a resident of the house who, upon returning home, had found the 19-year-old Edwards lying near the front entryway, according to the Virgin Islands Police Department.

Police on the scene were unable to determine whether the death was a homicide, because the body had apparently lain out for some period of time. An autopsy later determined that she had been shot multiple times.

Police arrested Merrifield and James in December 2009.

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A jury on St. Thomas Friday convicted two men in the August 2009 slaying of a woman in the Contant area, according to a statement from the Virgin Islands Department of Justice.

Nesta James, 29, and Denalson W. Merrifield, 25, were each found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Tameka Edwards, whose body was found Aug. 23, 2009, in front of a house in Estate Contant.

The men were also found guilty of unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a first-degree murder, first-degree assault and unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a first-degree assault.

Additionally, the jury found James guilty of the attempted first-degree murder of Alpheus Lettsome, who had driven Edwards to the house earlier in the day, and third-degree assault, unauthorized use of a firearm during commission of a third-degree assault and reckless endangerment in the first degree.

Sentencing for the pair has been set for Feb. 28.

Edwards' body was discovered by a resident of the house who, upon returning home, had found the 19-year-old Edwards lying near the front entryway, according to the Virgin Islands Police Department.

Police on the scene were unable to determine whether the death was a homicide, because the body had apparently lain out for some period of time. An autopsy later determined that she had been shot multiple times.

Police arrested Merrifield and James in December 2009.