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Police Arrest Second Suspect in 2011 Murder Case

St. Thomas detectives arrested a second man Monday for the July 5, 2011 shooting death of Jamal Blyden.

Eyewitness testimony initially led police to classify the incident as a suicide, but forensic evidence testing and consultations with an off-island crime reconstruction expert helped to shoot down that theory and lead to the recent arrests of D’Sean Thomas and Rashidi Hodge.

On July 5, 2011, police were sent to investigate a shooting in Estate Tutu. At the scene, Thomas and Hodge told police that Blyden had shot himself. Blyden died in the hospital later that day from a gunshot wound to the head.

Detectives gathered forensic evidence, which took six months to process in an off island facility, and moved to arrest Hodge and Thomas after working extensively with a crime scene reconstruction expert.

Thomas, 22, was arrested at approximately 3:30 p.m. Monday in Estate Tutu. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter, accessory after the face, misprision of a felony, aiding and abetting, preparing false evidence, first degree assault, and unauthorized possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.

Hodge, 24 was arrested two weeks ago by police and charged with preparing false evidence, accessory after the fact, and other related charges.

In a statement Tuesday, Assistant Police Commissioner Raymond L. Hyndman said Blyden’s family was actively involved in the case.

“The family cooperated with police every step of the way, providing detectives with additional information on the case,” he said. “The family exercised patience throughout this long process and now will see justice served.”

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