Suspected 2nd Gunman in Castle Coakley Murder Taken Into Custody

On Wednesday, a suspected second gunman who was wanted in connection with the Castle Coakley Murder of two minors on St. Coix was taken into custody, police say.

Ricardo Richards, 22, was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder, using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence, and unauthorized possession of a firearm, according to a V.I. Police Department press release announcing the arrest.

Chief Detective Lt. Naomi Joseph stated, “This case stems from the January 17, 2022, murders of Odonnie Heywood and Jah’ny Ledesma, both 17 years old, who were shot multiple times while driving through Old Castle Coakley. They were stopped and approached by Cornelius and Richards, who were both heavily armed, Cornelius with a handgun and Richards with a high-powered rifle.”

Joseph further stated, “There were also similarly armed individuals on top of the two-story building in the area, and they all opened fire on the vehicle containing two minors and the adult driver. We collected over 200 spent casings from the crime scene, and the majority was from a high-powered rifle. Mr. Richards also sought medical attention for a gunshot wound that night, however, claimed that he was shot at Thomas’s Bakery in Old Castle Coakley. The minors died instantly, and the adult survived from the multiple gunshot wounds that he sustained.”

Bail was set at $2.5 million. Richards was unable to post and was remanded to the John Bell Correctional Facility pending his advice of rights hearing.

Anyone with information about these homicides should call the CIB tip-line at 340-778-4850, 340-712-6092, Crime Stoppers V.I. at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or 911.