The appointment of two local prosecutors to the V.I. Superior Court bench is the latest in a series of moves to stamp out gun violence in the territory, according to Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.
During a news conference Monday, Bryan announced he had tapped attorney Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte, a former assistant U.S. attorney who currently serves as an assistant attorney general for the V.I. Justice Department in the St. Thomas-St. John District, and attorney Alphonso Andrews, a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and former judge on the V.I. Territorial Court, for St. Croix.
“I feel that we need to send a strong message to the criminals and our community by nominating prosecutors to the bench,” Bryan said. “We feel that the experience, education and the demonstrated dedication to our community and fairness make them great choices for the judiciary.”
Asking the Senate to approve both appointments “expeditiously,” Bryan said the local community is still “reeling” over the number of homicides that have continued to rack up over the past few months. Getting prosecutors in place to make the hard decisions is one thing, but the community must also turn over any information it has that may help bring the perpetrators to justice, including those responsible for the recent deaths of Rique Ashby, 29, and his cousin Aaron Ashby, 14, who were gunned down while working in the shuttered Tutu Hi-Rise community.
“And it is not only us that are outraged,” Bryan said, announcing that this past weekend an anonymous donor pledged $50,000 on top of the $10,000 reward already in place for information in the Ashby case that could lead to an arrest or arrests.
“We need to make sure that we not only solve these two murders but all that are happening in the Virgin Islands,” the governor said.