Jeanie Cockayne Reports on Son’s Murder Case


Our meeting last week was a thousand times more productive then our last meeting with USVI government officials. Not having the negative energy from Charlotte Poole-Davis certainly contributed. A.G. Vincent Frazer expressed himself well and did a wonderful job of explaining and informing Jeff and I of the progress of the investigation, and has assured us he and his office are pursuing further leads. Not all the news was good, however. We now know that Kamal Thomas is free and will be for at least 18 to 24 months. Jeff and I traveled to St. Thomas last week in order to collect all information that is public record. Attorney General Vincent Frazer has gained our confidence and his attorney Mr. Anderson is totally engaged and appears to be completely competent.

We shared quite a bit of information at our meeting with the A.G. hoping to assist in any way possible in this investigation, as well as information we have gained from other victims of crime here in the USVI. As you know, we have been contacted by and touched by many good people of the USVI. I hold out some hope that we have and/or will be able to help some of these victims receive justice also. Our struggle is in no way unique, and sadly many residents and tourists alike have gone through and will continue to go through the horrors of violent crime without receiving justice, counseling and basic assistance because to my knowledge, there is no victim outreach program. We victims are helpless, directionless, with no assistance and left to ourselves during times of great pain.

From the onset of our tragedy, communication has been an issue; however, finally the doors are opening if only just a crack. It is unfortunate that there is no victims advocate program in the USVI — it is sorely needed. Our family has been blessed by Dr. Iris Kern who reached out to us here and at home. I cannot find the words to express how she has helped us in oh so many ways. As she is volunteering, it only makes me feel more devoted. Dr. Kern has helped facilitate a meeting with Governor deJongh, and not only accompanied us to our meeting in St. Thomas last week, but she took an entire day bringing us door to door. All this out of the goodness of her heart.

I have to remark however, all is not rosy and the continued expense we incur because we have to had to travel back and forth from the states, the cost of food, lodging and lost wages for my son Jeff is enormous. Fortunately, to this point his employer Booz Allen has been very understanding.

I remain severely distressed over the fact that only two of the alleged murderers have been arrested and to my knowledge the owner/driver of the getaway car is still at large. Furthermore, having Judge Kendall release Kamal Thomas — an alleged repeat offender — free to walk the streets and only having to forfeit a mere $7,500 is disgusting. I do not believe either Kamal or Selmo are wearing monitoring devices, therefore they are out and about with the peak tourist season about to begin. I have to wonder where an unemployed criminal comes up with $7,500. How many hard working USVI residents can amass those kinds of funds? I read in the paper every day about bail being set at way more for lesser crimes. Murder in the first degree? Again, this issue is not unique to us. So many Virgin Islanders are affected by the apparent disregard for their safety by the court system. Will it ever change, will it ever get better? I am compelled to inform the unknowing residents and tourists that the streets of Cruz Bay are not safe.

I do have a few suggestions: instead of the police hanging out at the station or driving around tiny Cruz Bay in those ridiculous, expensive SUVs, possibly they could consider walking the beat. Stand on the corners where drugs are being sold, move the drugs dealers along. Enforce no loitering laws and finally receive some much-needed sensitivity classes. This trip, I personally witnessed more than one exchange of drugs for money, in broad daylight I might add. If there had been a police officer around, I could have done the decent thing and brought the crime to their attention. I know I am preaching to the choir. You live with this every day and it is wrong.

Please let me commend Officer Green for his professional behavior, Attorney General Frazer, Attorney Anderson, Leona Smith and last but certainly not least Dr. Iris Kern, an angel sent from heaven.

I am tired, worn out and broken hearted. The above-mentioned have tried to help me navigate through this maze of terror and injustice.

To the family of Officer Isaacs, stay strong. I pray for you and your son each and every day.

Jeanie Cockayne