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19-year-old St. Croix man added to ‘Most Wanted List’

JWaEmoneCharlery 99

                    J’wa Charlery of St. Croix

RICHMOND, Virginia — A St. Croix man is a suspect in the killing of a woman at a Virginia hotel last year has been added to U.S. Marshals Service’s “15 Most Wanted” fugitives list.

J’Wa Emone Charlery, 19, has been charged by Richmond police in the slaying of New York resident Eboniece Escobar, 22.

Officers found Escobar dead at the Clarion Hotel in the 3200 block of North Boulevard on Nov. 2 with a gunshot wound to the head.

Authorities are unsure where Charlery is, but the Marshals Service said he fled to the Virgin Islands after Escobar’s death.

Charlery has exhibited a “blatant disregard for life” while on the run, U.S. Marshals director Stacia Hylton said in a news release.

Charlery is known in St. Croix by the nickname “Balla” and has connections in Norfolk and Miami, according to the Marshals Service.

According to the police report submitted by Sgt. Michael Rogers of the Richmond Police Department, police were notified about a disturbance in a room at the Clarion Hotel in Richmond.

When officers arrived, they found Escobar’s unresponsive body and saw she was suffering from a gunshot wound. Police said she died on the scene, and determined that she had suffered a single gunshot wound to the head.

Police spoke with individuals who led them to the surveillance camera of a nearby store and coupled video footage from that camera with footage on the hotel’s surveillance camera and determined that Jimmar Payne, 22, of Estate White Lady, Charlery and Sheanne U. Rivera, 20, of St. Croix were seen at the store moments before the murder and then seen running from the area after the murder.

Rivera and Payne were arrested after the incident and charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

According to the police report, Charlery was identified within hours of the murder and police later were given information that Payne and Rivera were involved.

U.S. Marshals are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information that leads to Charlery’s arrest. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the U.S. Marshals’ Communications Center at (800) 336-0102.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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