C’Quan Celestine, a 23-year-old resident of Anna’s Retreat, was remanded to the Bureau of Corrections Tuesday afternoon minutes after a jury convicted him of shooting a woman and leaving her for dead.
According to the V.I. Department of Justice, the verdict came after two days of testimony and more than three hours of deliberation. A V.I. Superior Court jury unanimously convicted Celestine of second-degree attempted murder, unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a first-degree assault, third-degree assault, unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a third-degree assault and unauthorized possession of a firearm, in connection with the Aug. 9, 2015, shooting of Andrea Gumbs. The incident occurred in the area of Misgunst roadway.
V.I. Superior Court Judge Michael Dunston has set June 14 as the date for Celestine’s sentencing. Celestine has been convicted previously of a felony offense, is deemed a habitual criminal offender and will be sentenced under the Habitual Offender Act, the DOJ news release said.
The prosecution relied on the testimony of eight witnesses, including the victim, to prove its case. Gumbs told jurors she was traveling inside a car with Celestine and two other men that day. She was sitting in the back seat of the vehicle with Celestine. At some point, Celestine demanded that Gumbs perform a sexual act on him, but she refused him. Shortly after, Celestine pointed a gun at Gumbs’ face and shot her. The bullet entered her right eye and exited through the left side of her neck.
Celestine and the two other men climbed back into the car and drove away from the area, leaving Gumbs in the street, according to the testimony.
A passerby who was driving along in the area saw Gumbs stumbling about in the street, her face covered in blood. The man rushed to her assistance, tried to stop the bleeding with towels and called 911. Emergency dispatchers arrived on the scene and took Gumbs to the Schneider Regional Medical Center, where she was treated for the life- threatening injury, according to court testimony.
Attorney General Claude Earl Walker said he is pleased that another violent criminal has been taken off the streets.
“When a shooter aims a gun at someone else’s face and then shoots, the shooter intends to kill that person, and often, death results in such an incident,” Walker said. “However, Andrea miraculously survived atrocious injuries after being left for dead by the defendant, and her testimony was critical to the prosecution’s case, in that she was able take the stand and identify the shooter.”
During an interview with police, Gumbs was able to identify her shooter through a six-picture photo array and Celestine was taken into custody, according to a probable cause fact sheet filed by Det. Nigel James.
Assistant Attorney General Eugene Connor argued the case for the prosecution.