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USVI man faces 25 years in jail for stabbing woman to death

October 29th, 2016 | Tags: Adisa Bertrand guilty Shantee Sievenwright murder
Adisa Bertrand of Chocolate Hole, St John, pleaded guilty to the March 7, 2014, murder of 24-year-old Shantee Sievenwright. Photo: VIC
VI CONSORTIUM

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St Thomas, USVI— A 45-year-old man on St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (USVI) has admitted to killing a woman as she sat inside her car in a housing community more than two years ago.

Adisa Bertrand of Chocolate Hole, St John, pleaded guilty to the March 7, 2014, murder of 24-year-old Shantee Sievenwright.

Mr. Bertrand was scheduled to stand trial on 10 charges, including first-degree murder, but rather than face a jury, he accepted the terms of a closed plea agreement, which was negotiated by Assistant Attorney General Quincy McRae and defense attorney, Julie Todman.

Mr. Bertrand appeared in court Friday October 28, 2016 for a change of plea hearing and stood before V.I. Superior Court Judge Denise Francois to formally confess to the murder. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Bertrand entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder and the remaining counts against him were dismissed. The plea offer also recommended that Mr. Bertrand be sentenced to a 25-year prison term. A second-degree murder conviction carries a penalty of not less than five years.

Judge Francois accepted the plea deal and has scheduled Mr. Bertrand’s sentencing for December 9 at 2 P.M. as she awaits a pre-sentence report.

Mr. Bertrand was arrested March 7, 2014 and was held without bail since he was taken into custody.

Police officers, responding to a report of a one-car accident at Tutu Valley, found Sievenwright’s lifeless body inside a gold Honda Accord. The body bore multiple stab wounds. A stainless steel butcher knife with a 7-inch long blade was also found inside the vehicle, according to an affidavit filed by Det. Dwight Griffith.

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