A St. Thomas man was found guilty of murder, the V.I. Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday.
Russell Moolenaar, 39, was found guilty of murder after a three-day trial in St. Thomas Superior Court in the shooting death of 23-year-old Bariki George on March 19, 2019, said Attorney General Denise George in a news release.
Moolenaar was charged with murder, unauthorized possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, and unauthorized possession of firearm ammunition.
Moolenaar faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole for his crime.
According to an affidavit, the homicide occurred at approximately 8 a.m. at Viking Corporation, a shipping and moving company on St. Thomas. On that morning, police were called by someone from the company who reported that a male employee had been shot in the business’s break room. At the scene, police found George, who had sustained several gunshot wounds on his body. Emergency medical technicians on the scene found no vital signs. After witness statements during the investigation, Moolenaar, also an employee of the company, was apprehended by police and placed under arrest.
Assistant Attorneys General Kimberly Riley and John Barraco prosecuted the case. They were assisted by the V.I. Police Department, including Sgt. Mario Stout, Officer Ecedro Lindquist and Detective Vernon Carr.
“Justice has finally been served. I commend our DOJ prosecution team and truly hope this sentencing provides some degree of comfort and closure to the family, friends, co-workers, classmates, teammates, and coaches of Bariki George,” AG George said in the statement.
“A few years before his death, this young man was recognized as a standout student/athlete at the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School and was also a member of the Cheetahs Track Club. He was a medalist as a member of the Virgin Islands National Leeward Islands Junior Track and Field Team that competed in the British Virgin Islands. These noteworthy achievements will always be remembered,” said AG George.