Husband Of Murdered Woman Rakes Chief Superior Court Judge Michael Dunston Over The Coals For ‘Light’ Sentence Of Jibri Roberts
MARRIED IN ST. KITTS: Joe Hendrickson (right) with his wife Rajkumarie.
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The chief judge of the Superior Court is in the hot seat today after the Texas husband of a murdered woman lambasted him for giving a convicted murderer only a 20-year sentence.
Joe Hendrickson, who married Rajkumarie Hendrickson in St. Kitts 13 years ago, said he was “so disappointed” in Judge Michael Dunston’s Sept. 19 decision and charged that “corruption” might be at play in the case.
“I am so disappointed that the Prosecutor’s Office (V.I. Attorney General Claude Walker) let the plea go through,” Hendrickson said. “I have no idea why they did it, as I have no information about the kind of case the prosecutors had to work with.”
Hendrickson said that he flew down to the Virgin Islands from Pflugerville, Texas to appear before Judge Dunston and plead his case for a life sentence for convicted killer Jibri Roberts of Bonne Esperance (which means “good luck” in French).
“It is my opinion they (the prosecution) were just too lazy or too incompetent to do any better,” he said. “I would not be surprised if the reason they let the killer of my beautiful wife off the hook with such a short sentence is because of official corruption, I just don’t know.”
The Texas resident who has traveled widely in the Caribbean without ever having an issue with crime believes that the V.I. Attorney General’s Office and the V.I. Superior Court were complicit in handing down a sentence that is not fair compared to what is normal for someone convicted of murder on the U.S. mainland. Hendrickson said Walker was not available to him as a member of the victim’s immediate family.
“No one from the (Attorney General’s) office involved in the case has explained it to me,” Hendrickson said. “I only found out about the deal after it was done. I sent a letter to the Judge Dunston. And I spoke at the sentencing BEGGING the Judge to turn it down. Now I don’t know if he (Dunston) could not or would not stop it. If he just would not then shame on him.”
Hendrickson said people traveling to the Virgin Islands — especially downtown Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas — should be given a warning about how dangerous it is to be out at nighttime.
“If the good people of the V.I. think it is OK for a dog to shoot my wife several times in the chest, with his previous gun charges and get only twenty years then they can continue to stay off the streets at night and warn tourists to stay in their hotels at night.”
Hendrickson added that it is high time for the Virgin Islands to elect their own attorney general — not have one appointed by the governor — as was done in this case with Gov. Kenneth Mapp.
“I think they (the people of the Virgin Islands) are not pleased with the Prosecutors or the Judge in this case and will sweep these (expletive deleted) out of office. I would like to thank the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) for the good job they did.”
The man who is still in mourning for his wife who was murdered on Oct. 24, 2015 held out little hope that the second man charged in the case — Adowa Fleming of Altona — would face an even stiffer sentence at his upcoming trial as an accomplice in the case.
“Twenty years for cold-blooded murder is not justice — it is just sickening.” Hendrickson said. “With that kind of sentencing — I can only say good luck to the people of the Virgin Islands — they will need it.”
GETS OFF EASY WITH 20 YEARS: Jibri Roberts of Bonne Esperance, St. Thomas.