Lemy Virgile, 45, has been charged with the first degree murder of Paulette Joseph, 41, on St. Thomas. Virgile had a former romantic relationship with Joseph, and they were co-workers at the Westin Resort and Villas on St. John. Both Virgile and Joseph are natives of Haiti.
On Monday, January 28, at approximately 5:20 p.m., Virgile picked up Joseph at the Red Hook ferry and drove her to an abandoned structure in the area of Frenchman’s Bay Estates where they argued. During that time, Virgile threw cleaning acid on Joseph and when she began to flee, fired several shots at her which did not strike her. Virgile pursued Joseph, threw more acid on her and hit her several times in the head with large stones.
Alert citizens heard a woman screaming and called 911 at 6:11 p.m. When V.I. Police Department officers arrived on the scene, Joseph was unresponsive, but still alive and was transported to the R.L. Schneider Hospital for treatment. At the same time, police were following leads from citizens on Virgile’s whereabouts. Joseph succumbed to her injuries at 9:45 p.m. and was pronounced dead. She leaves behind a four-month-old daughter from her present relationship.
VIPD officers apprehended Virgile at approximately 10:35 p.m. A gun was found in his vehicle, a red four-door 1993 Nissan Stanza. He was remanded to custody Monday evening, January 28, and arraigned the next day at Superior Court on St. Thomas. He is being held without bail pending his next court date.
VIPD Commissioner James McCall expressed his appreciation to the officers, investigators and the community, who worked together for the quick resolution to this matter.
“The community got involved and assisted in this investigation,” McCall said. “The police cannot be everywhere at once, but once the community gets involved everybody benefits.”