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Cordel A. E. O’Neal sentenced to 7 years 10 months

Cordel O'Neal was today March 16, 2015 sentenced to a total of 7 years 10 months for various arms and ammunition offences. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Cordel A. E. O'Neal, 29, was this afternoon March 16, 2015 sentenced to a total of 7 years 10 months for the charges of unlicenced firearm, possession of explosives and possession of a prohibited weapon.

For having an unlicenced firearm, O'Neal was sentenced to 24 months; for possession of explosives, he was sentenced to four months and for possession of a prohibited weapon, he was sentenced to five and a half years for a total of seven years ten months since the sentences are to run consecutively.

O’Neal had pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful possession of explosives/ammunition when he appeared in the Magistrate’s Court at Prospect Reef on January 23, 2015.

He was remanded to prison by Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards and today’s date was set for his sentencing.

However, his mother- a respected and prominent former legislator of the Virgin Islands Mrs Irene Penn-O’Neal, his sister Zubida O’Neal and Shameek Grant, who was also charged for the alleged crime, pleaded not guilty and are currently being tried.

The Magistrate said that in deciding on the length of the sentence, she took into consideration the prevalence of gun crimes in the Virgin Islands and noted that her research found there were some 51 such cases before the courts from 2012 to present. This she said she found alarming.

The four were taken into custody on October 24, 2014 following a raid on their Pockwood Pond home by officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) who were at the time on an operation based on intelligence information gathered.
Mrs Penn-O’Neal, her daughter and the boyfriend of the daughter pleaded not guilty and were granted bail.

When Cordel A. E. O’Neal’s father, Mr Otto O'Neal, had appeared in court on February 27, 2015 he described his 29-year-old son as the clown of the family, meaning that he kept the home lively on a daily basis.

Among other things, he recalled that his son was the child who spent the most time in his parents’ bedroom, woke up early and got everyone up in the mornings and fed the dogs that are more familiar with him.

But he also told the court, as he pleaded for leniency for his son, that there were a number of unfortunate experiences in his life that have resulted in him being withdrawn. Among those was evidence of him spending some two years in the USA undergoing surgeries and rehabilitation to an injured hand, the death of close relatives and the death of his first daughter shortly after she was born and him not being able to see her.

He also told of the side of his child that showed his determination to live his dreams as while away for the two years he pursued studies in the area of audio engineering and upon his return to the Virgin Islands built his own studio.

The court was also told that O’Neal was a very generous and caring person and would go the extra mile to help people. The court heard that he gave clothing to persons in prison and others in need and even stood as guarantor for his work peers so they could get credit at the family business.

Following the father’s evidence in the court, O’Neal accepted the opportunity to say something in open court and he apologised to his family, especially his mother and father for having them go through this court process. He also said he had no friends.

25 Responses to “Cordel A. E. O’Neal sentenced to 7 years 10 months”

  • Well Sah (16/03/2015, 17:16) Like (12) Dislike (43) Reply
    Just because his mother ran on the VIP ticket.
    • bull dog (16/03/2015, 22:10) Like (10) Dislike (17) Reply
      Lock them up!

      Those who harbour the guns and those who own them!

      The law is not playing no favorertism games here for any one.

      All of them!
  • Wow! (16/03/2015, 17:18) Like (7) Dislike (16) Reply
    The proposed law dont have that kind of penalty, mayson appeal!
    • @wow (16/03/2015, 18:12) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
      The proposed law has a much harsher sentence big man. Just listen to the house tomorrow
  • Dont Worry (16/03/2015, 17:25) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    You'll be out in 5 years so you will have enough time to chart your course.
    • my 3 cents (16/03/2015, 23:45) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      I would like to cosign you comment.. but I cant.... Do you know what it is to have 5 years of your life locked away from society... I don't even want to imagine 1 year. When reality of the situation sinks in it will hit him real hard.
  • west (16/03/2015, 17:36) Like (9) Dislike (24) Reply
    Yall did my boi wrong, keep yo head up bruh!
  • qc (16/03/2015, 17:44) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    His mom will win
  • Russian Roulette (16/03/2015, 18:45) Like (43) Dislike (3) Reply
    These judges playing eeny meeny miny mo with these guns sentences. One time it's as petty as a $2000 fine then it went to 1 year and change now them reach almost 8. DeCastro son reading this headline and thanking his father for his blessings.
  • facts man (16/03/2015, 19:42) Like (15) Dislike (15) Reply
    the NDP and them nasy plot will not stop IPO from winning!
  • buh wait.. (16/03/2015, 21:30) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    7 years and 10 months for having unlicensed weapons? wow, moving on.
  • SMH (16/03/2015, 23:18) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    hopefully he uses this time for some self reflection and decides to change his life for the better
  • Chris (17/03/2015, 06:34) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Sorry my son. You made your family go through too much.This is a time for you to change your life. It might be good for you to be there in prison because the way you live by the sword, you might die by the sword. You are safe there. Use the time in prison to develop your talent.
  • SB (17/03/2015, 06:53) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Damn hold you head up B.
  • overseas (17/03/2015, 07:43) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Ball headed waz behind tis and got the balls to write letter he bush lawyer self
  • good job (17/03/2015, 07:56) Like (9) Dislike (9) Reply
    Finally a judge sending the right message about guns. All you plastic gangsters take note, your time will soon come too. Good job Judge.
  • yes (17/03/2015, 08:08) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    Ah glad! I wonder who he has shot or was ready to shoot with those loaded guns.
  • Barry (17/03/2015, 11:10) Like (0) Dislike (6) Reply
    hope zubida wins her case she is to beautiful to locked up.
  • onlooker (17/03/2015, 11:47) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
  • FAKENIGGAZ (18/03/2015, 00:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ppl in the comments be like "Oh My gosh 7 years for just unlicensed guns? Hashtag Sad Face That's too much"....If you purchase a car it's with the intent to use it, if you buy a $11.00 Plate of food from Darios is with intent to eat.... So u do the math, if you buy a Set ah Guns and Amo TF? u think he gah a personal Gun museum in he house??

    Well done judge..if you ask me that's not even enough slap another 7 years on that.....also take note, a year in prison time isn't 365days so in reality he'll be doing less than a year
  • SB (18/03/2015, 13:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    My boy them other 2 clowns got off with a "whisper in the ear" but they throw the book at you. I guess it is who government in power.
  • :( (21/03/2015, 16:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hope you come out before

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