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UPDATE - Sprauve & Stevens get 15 years for Moneygram robbery

- Judge says court must send strong message
Jason Stevens (left) and Leonard Sprauve Jr. had pleaded guilty to robbing MoneyGram on January 21, 2011 and were sentenced to 15 years in prison this morning July 24, 2012. Photo: VINO
Three of the five accused men (left to right) - Michael Stevens, Jason Stevens and Leonard Sprauve. Photo: VINO/File
Three of the five accused men (left to right) - Michael Stevens, Jason Stevens and Leonard Sprauve. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Minutes ago in the High Court this morning July 24, 2012, Leonard Sprauve Jr. and Jason Stevens were sentenced to 15 years in prison for the January 21, 2011 Moneygram robbery.

They were both handed 15 years for robbery and 10 years for possession of firearm with intent to endanger life and the sentences are to run concurrently.

In handing down the sentence, Justice Albert Redhead told the two that they have both pleaded guilty to two very serious offences, for which the maximum sentence for robbery is life in prison and possession of firearm is 20 years.

He further stated that judges have a very heavy burden in passing sentencing, and the court must send a message that such behaviour is not acceptable in society and cannot get away lightly. “The court cannot shun its responsibility.”

On June 7, 2012, Sprauve Jr. and Stevens had pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of firearm with intent to endanger life.

They pleaded not guilty to Count 2 which was wounding with intent. In light of their guilty pleas, the Crown, led by Senior Crown Counsel Valston Graham, had offered no evidence in Count 2 against the accused men.

Meanwhile, the three other accused Rodney Simmonds Jr., and Mikael Howe were found not guilty and Michael Stevens had walked free.

The charges against Michael Stevens were dropped on June 22, 2012. His lawyer Akeela Anderson had successfully argued that the Crown did not have sufficient evidence to link her client to the robber, and on June 25, 2012, a nine member jury unanimously found Rodney Simmonds Jr. and Mikael Howe not guilty for the robbery.

For two weeks, the duo was on trial for robbery, possession of firearm with intent to endanger a life and wounding with intent.

In light of this, Justice Albert Redhead told the young men that they were free to go. However, only Howe walked out a free man since Simmonds Jnr, who is charged with another criminal offence, has to remain in prison.

According to court records, the robbery happened around 4:30 p.m. on January 21, 2011 when two security officers had picked up the day’s earnings – 193, 409.33 – to be taken to the National Bank of the Virgin Islands.

35 Responses to “UPDATE - Sprauve & Stevens get 15 years for Moneygram robbery”

  • HELP HELP HELP (05/06/2012, 10:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    oh lord I cry for our young men
  • yellow (05/06/2012, 15:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    this again
    • Ms Ryan (24/07/2012, 15:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • man rat (07/06/2012, 10:30) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    so why they plead guilty??? struuupppsss
    • schupes (07/06/2012, 11:11) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Because they are guilty. Why else?
      • eat cake (07/06/2012, 15:56) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        hush your ra$$ are you a damm judge???? old idiot
        • bad boys (07/06/2012, 21:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          holding up the places where there is big $$$$$ has become the recession's crime of choice for penny-pinching suspects large and small across the BVI.
    • @@@@@ (07/06/2012, 22:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      who ever dem lawyers is should be bowing dem head in shame to allow deeds guys to plead guilty!!!
  • ude (07/06/2012, 11:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    They pleaded guilty cause them a real men who wishes to own up to them wrong doings. Y you dont go find your neck in a cats mouth and let it b off with you since you seem to be mad that they did.
    • well sa (07/06/2012, 12:51) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      you shut up (real men don't teef) and if they had an ounce of manhood in them, they would have pleaded guilty from day one, rather than wasting the court and tax payers time and money. It should take a year to admit you are guilty
  • best (07/06/2012, 11:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    at least this crazy boys folliwng company will be locked up for now...hope they learn maybe someday they'll figure out crime does not pay as this no coincidence....
  • Praying (07/06/2012, 13:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cous, I'm praying for you and the other young men, it's unfortunate that you guys got caught up in all this, though prison is not the best place to be, but use the time spent there not only to your benefit but that of society. That upon your release you'll be positive contributing factors to the community. To the families that are being victimized right now, I pray for God's continued strength and courage during this time of great difficulty. Let's unite and do our part to prevent more of our young men and women to keep out of incarceration. It is a growing disease and the community on a whole needs to pull together, make an effort to bring back the bvi to the crime free liitle country it needs to be.
  • My Humble Opinion (07/06/2012, 13:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cous, you're in my prayers, along with the other young men who are being tried, who are incarcerated, who are at large who have the potential to commit crimes, the youths of this bvi are in my prayers.
  • dog world (07/06/2012, 13:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    WOW!! my god a sad day for all of them bout hold ya head up my yutes..
  • Crank Shaft (07/06/2012, 14:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's so sad! Those two boys used to be by the car wash by the school, the one in the shades used to be there just chilling, ALL DAMN DAY, wouldn't even get up and wash a car. The other one used to wash vehicles and probably just got caught up with his friends. Imagine they were right there watching others making money, working at their own pace. You wash 5 cars (clean inside and out) you can make $20 each, that's $100 per day in a few hours. Some people might be so happy with the job you get a tip. Why rob and steal in the BVI? WHY???? I cannot figure it out! People pay top dollar to cut their bush, clean their yards, wash their cars, cut their hair, only in BVI people doing these things can get decent pay but yet they refuse.
    • i shall not want (08/06/2012, 07:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree with you and to top it off when they get themself busted they blaming all kind of people, like the old saying goes birds of one feather flock together!! (meanind their friends who here online writing crap bout they shouldn't of plead ) bullcrap they should of plead when them get caught!! plain and simple!!!
  • FOR SALE (08/06/2012, 23:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • K (24/07/2012, 11:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Redhead isn't playing at all. Whosoever is guilty of wrongdoing, plead guilty now.
  • weed (24/07/2012, 12:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    wow dat judge aint playing yall
  • open season (24/07/2012, 13:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    BVI will be crime free for the rest of the
  • Concerned citizen (24/07/2012, 13:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let me say upfront that I do not condone criminal activities and I beleive that this warranted 15 years. I believe that the money was not recoverd. But tell me how on earth two boys who went into the police station got 20 years yesterday- where is the consistency in sentences. In fact, I will say that the Moneygram robbery was more serious because there were people there unarmed whereas the police station has no money to rob and there must be armed police there or officers who are trained to handle policemen. I belive this judge is not consistent and whilst I like him, his sentences do not reflect consistency. Boy Rowe and Thompson, please appeal the 20 years. It makes no sense. I support this one though
    • Glad (24/07/2012, 14:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      u need to read what the judge said about breech of security and shut up.
    • BREAKING NEWS (24/07/2012, 16:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Robbery on a hold is WRONG but to rob from the POLICE STATION is the HIGHEST FORM of disrespect so they should get more than 20 years!! I think the second highest form of disrespect is robbing from your PARENTS!!
  • cut the check (24/07/2012, 14:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is what I talking about this judge aint playing with these man, he making an example with the couple cases for the past couple of days to detour these young men on the streets to hold it down I only hope that they take note.
  • troll master (24/07/2012, 14:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    let this be a lesson to all of you young criminals out there, balo always got more room
    • Tola Don (24/07/2012, 17:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Balo aint got no room it's to the max ok ppl living in the hall ways them done can't feed who here already how them going feed those who coming
  • Sonia (24/07/2012, 15:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Senior Crown Counsel Valston Graham for next DPP
  • wet will (24/07/2012, 23:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    well saw a judge that can come here an give our young men long look up time...what is going on????
  • Sabine (12/08/2012, 18:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
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