Judge Takes a Bite Out of Crime

ST. THOMAS – Ten years in prison was the sentence V.I. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Mackay handed down today on Emanuel Greer for an ear-biting incident that occurred in 2016.

Defendant Emanuel Greer, 47, of Calabash Boom, was sentenced on the single charge of mayhem, 10 months after a jury convicted him of biting off a piece of Akeimo Williams’ right ear.

In handing down her sentence,  Mackay told Greer that he is subject to the Habitual Offender Statute because of two previous convictions. The 10 years sentence does not include eligibility for probation, parole or early release.

Prosecutors asked the court for 20 years under the Habitual Offenders Act.

According to Williams’ testimony at trial, on the morning of June 4, 2016, he was on the ferry traveling to St. John. Greer was also aboard the boat pacing back and forth and talking aloud to himself. Williams and Greer exchanged words after Greer told Williams and another man that their voices were bothering him. Greer threatened to throw Williams over the boat and drown him.

When the boat docked in St. John, Williams disembarked the vessel and as he was walking to work, Greer attacked him, latched onto his ear four times, growled like a dog and bit into his ear until a portion of his ear came off.

The victim was taken to Myrah Keating Clinic for treatment; however, doctors were unable to reattach the piece to his ear, according to court documents.

When given the opportunity to address the court on his own behalf, Greer said he was “truly sorry for the problems I caused this court.” The defendant was taken into custody and remanded to the Bureau of Corrections to begin serving his sentence.

“This matter has changed my life tremendously and forever,” Williams told the court at Greer’s sentencing. “Even at nights I can’t sleep on my ear because it’s uncomfortable; I still feel pain at times.”

Attorney General Claude Walker said he was satisfied with the judge’s decision.

“When we aggressively prosecute cases like this, we are telling the criminal element that the good people of the Virgin Islands will never become accustomed to destructive behavior,” Walker said. “We will not only reserve our outrage for murder cases, but also for cases such as this where the defendant has permanently altered the victim’s life in a disfiguring and harmful way.”

Assistant Attorney General Nadja Harrigan argued the case for the prosecution.