Jahlil Ward To Face Murder Charges Again

After rejecting the government-offered plea deal of voluntary manslaughter, Jahlil Ward will face first-degree murder and weapons charges during retrial next week.

The St. John man was convicted of stabbing 21-year-old James Cockayne to death after an October 2008 trial before V.I. Superior Court Judge Brenda Hollar. That conviction was later overturned, however, when Hollar discovered that prosecutors had not shared a key piece of evidence with Ward’s defense lawyers until four months after the trial.

Ward will face jury selection this Friday, December 11, with his retrial starting on Monday, December 14.

During his first trial, prosecutors alleged that Ward first had followed Cockayne from the Front Yard Bar and stabbed him eight times — including a fatal wound to Cockayne’s femoral artery — outside of Fashion Palace just after midnight on June 19, 2007.
Ward, 20, has been in jail on St. Thomas since his arrest in June 2008.