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Pretrial Hearing Clears the Way for Start of Trial in December 2021 Robbery and Murder at Glitters

The Havensight Mall entrance. (Source photo by Bethaney Lee)
All four defendants — three of whom were minors at the time — are being charged as adults. (Source photo by Bethaney Lee)

More than two years after gunmen robbed a Havensight jewelry store and fatally shot a customer, a trial is expected to begin in March. Four men are charged with murder, attempted murder, robbery, assault, grand larceny, illegal weapons used in a violent crime and reckless endangerment.

A pretrial hearing leading to the start of trial took place in Superior Court Feb. 27.

There have been a string of court actions leading up to jury selection on March 11 for defendants Akenda Weeks, Micaiah Cozier, Jahmar Lewis and Junior Marcelo Garcia. Security cameras in the vicinity of the Dec. 4, 2021, robbery showed all four men — three of whom were minors at the time — entering the store prior to the robbery.

Investigators said the robbery team entered wearing black clothing and masks but were identified through other means. All defendants are now being charged as adults.

A security guard and Georgiana Julien, a customer, were shot and wounded. Julien succumbed to her injuries on Jan. 2, 2022. Charges brought against Weeks, Cozier, and Lewis were upgraded to include murder. Garcia was charged in March 2022 after investigators identified him as having entered Glitters at the same time as the gunmen.

An estimated $18,000 in merchandise was taken during the incident. Court records say prosecutors waited until May 2023 for evidence submitted to the FBI forensic lab to return. Items included blood-stained merchandise and other items taken from Glitters.

Other delays were attributed to safety concerns for robbery witnesses and victims. Prosecutors also fought challenges from defense attorneys seeking to exclude witness statements and evidence.

“There is no legal justification for excluding evidence in this case at this juncture in the proceedings. The charges in this case are extraordinarily serious, not just for the victims and their families, but for the Virgin Islands community as well,” said then-Attorney General nominee Ariel Smith.

Supreme Court Judge Carol Thomas-Jacobs has been assigned to preside over the trial. If found guilty at trial, all defendants face the possibility of serving life sentences in prison.

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