CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man was given 15 years in prison in Superior Court for trying to kill his wife, the Virgin Islands Free Press has learned.
Cecil Rouse, 66, of Anna’s Retreat, shot his wife in the abdomen on May 11, 2012. Rouse was convicted on charges of first-degree attempted murder, unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of third-degree assault-domestic violence and two counts of unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Rouse spoke to those assembled in the courtroom at the sentencing hearing.
“I really don’t know what happened,” Rouse said. “Everybody keep telling me what happened. I have no idea.”
According to court documents, police arrested Rouse on May 22, 2012 after his wife told investigators that her husband shot her during an argument at their home.
Rouse also pointed a gun at one of his daughters when she ran into the bedroom after hearing the shot he fired at her mother.
The injured woman and her two daughters managed to escape from the house and sought help from a neighbor.
The woman was taken to the Schneider Regional Medical Center and treated for a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
The victim had to undergo eight surgeries because the bullet was lodge in her spine, according to court records.
Superior Court Judge Kathleen sentenced Rouse to 15 years in prison with five years suspended for first-degree murder; 10 years and a $1,000 fine for unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of attempted murder; 15 years with no possibility of parole or probation and a fine of $25,000 for third-degree assault-domestic violence; five years for unauthorized use of a firearm during the commssion of a third-degree assault; two years for third-degree assault-domestic violence for pointing a gun at his daughter; and one year for unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a third-degree assault.
MacKay ordered that all of the sentences be served concurrently with credit for time served while awaiting trial for five years.
Rouse was also assessed $75 in court costs. The case was prosecuted successfully by Assistant Attorney General Eugene Connor, Jr.
The V.I. Department of Justice headed by Attorney General Claude Walker did not contribute to this information being made available to the public in this report.