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3 Minors to be Tried as Adults in Hyde Murder

Three minor suspects who are being held on the Nov. 23 fatal-assault of William Hyde have been re-arrested and charged as adults with first-degree murder, the V.I. Police Department reported Thursday.

The three suspects – Jelani Gumbs, 15; Dionno Brooks, 16; and N’Kai Colon, 17 – appeared in court Thursday at an advise-of-rights-hearing on St. Thomas.

Hyde’s unconscious body was found Nov. 24 in a bathroom stall at the Magens Bay Beach. Investigation revealed Hyde was brutally assaulted and sustained severe head trauma. Hyde was transported to the Schneider Regional Medical Center and later transferred to the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami for treatment. He died as a result of his injuries on Dec. 17.

Five teen suspects, all younger than 18, were arrested and, in March, Family Court Judge Debra Watlington granted a motion to have them tried as adults. Thursday’s arrest and advice-of-rights hearing was only for the three suspects named as adults – Gumbs, Brooks and N’Kai Colon.

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Melody Rames, VIPD public information officer, said she was not aware of any action taken against the two others and did not speculate on why they were not included. "Just assume their status is the unchanged," she said.

In addition to the charge of first-degree murder, the suspects were charged as adults with second-degree murder, first-degree assault, third-degree assault, unauthorized possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of first-degree murder, unauthorized possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of second-degree murder, unauthorized possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of first-degree assault, unauthorized possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of third-degree assault, false imprisonment and kidnapping, kidnapping, grand larceny, unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of stolen property, aiding and abetting, and conspiracy.

During the hearing the court placed each suspect on a $250,000 unsecured bond and ordered them to remain on house arrest with electronic monitoring.

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