Justice Department Bungle Leads to Bail for Cockayne Murder Suspect

V.I. Superior Court Judge Brenda Hollar dismissed a motion to detain Anselmo Boston, who faces first degree murder charges for the stabbing death of James Cockayne, after a prosecutor was more than 30 minutes late for the scheduled 9 a.m. hearing Friday, August 17.

Hollar set a $100,000 surety bond bail, meaning Boston can post property twice that amount to secure his release from prison. He faces charges of first degree murder, first degree assault, third degree assault and weapons charges, in the June 19 stabbing of Cockayne, 21, in Cruz Bay.

Parents To Post Bond
Boston’s parents plan to post their St. Croix home for bail, Public Defense Attorney Benjamin Currence explained in court.
The murder suspect was still in custody as of press time, but if released, he will be placed under house arrest, wear an electronic monitoring device, release his travel documents to the court and not have any direct contact with witnesses in the case.

After Assistant Attorney General Renee Gumbs-Carty, who was assigned to the high-profile case, failed to appear in the courtroom, Assistant Attorney General Brenda Scales finally arrived just after 9:30 a.m.

Blaming a Justice Department communication snafu, Scales apologized for the delay.

The judge immediately dismissed the detainment motion without prejudice and heard arguments regarding bail posting instead.
Boston was arrested on August 9 at Cyril King Airport after he returned from a vacation in Antigua.

Prosecutors allege the 31-year-old St. Croix-native broke a pool stick over Cockayne’s head at The Front Yard bar because the Pennsylvania man kicked Boston’s girlfriend’s car.

Boston and Kamal Thomas, who also faces first degree murder, assault, weapons and witness intimidation charges, then followed Cockayne up the street and stabbed him multiple times, according to the Justice Department’s affidavit.

In an interview with V.I. Police Department officials, Boston admitted to the fight at The Front Yard, but said after he was kicked out of the bar he walked toward Mongoose Junction, in the opposite direction of Thomas and the murder scene.

Hollar will preside over the joined trial against Thomas and Boston, who both face first degree murder, assault and weapons charges.
The witness intimidation charges against Thomas will be a separate trial. Ryan Meade also faces witness intimidation charges in relation to the Cockayne murder, and his hearing will be separate as well.

Accusing the VIPD of inaction and incompetence, Cockayne’s parents launched a media campaign in mid-July and appeared on national news outlets CNN and Fox News as well as local Philadelphia and Ohio television stations.