An Anna’s Retreat man found guilty of the attempted murder of his wife at their home in 2012 will spend the next 15 years in prison.
On Friday, V.I. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Mackay sentenced Cecil Rouse, 66, more than a year after a jury convicted him 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 third-degree assault for shooting his wife in the abdomen.
The incident occurred May 10, 2012.
“I really didn’t know what happened,” Rouse said when given the opportunity to address the court on his own behalf. “Everybody keep telling me what happened; I have no idea.”
For the first-degree attempted murder conviction, Judge Mackay sentenced Rouse to 15 years’ imprisonment with five years suspended; ten years and a $1,000 fine for unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of attempted murder, with a stay on its execution or imposition; 15 years with no possibility of parole or probation and a fine of $25,000 for third-degree assault/domestic violence for firing a gun at his wife; five years for unauthorized use of a firearm during the commission of a third-degree assault, with a stay on its execution or imposition; 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, with a stay on its execution or imposition.
All sentences are to be served concurrently with credit for time served. Rouse also was assessed $75 in court costs.
Police arrested Rouse on May 22, 2012 after his wife told investigators that her husband had shot her. According to court documents, the victim told police that she and Rouse had gotten into an argument at their home. He showed her a gun, told her he was going to kill her and then shot her in the abdomen. Rouse also pointed the gun at their daughter, who had run into the bedroom on hearing the gunshot and yelled at her father to stop. The injured woman managed to escape. She and her two daughters ran outside into the street and a neighbor took them to the police station in Four Winds. The victim was taken to Schneider hospital and treated for a gunshot wound to her abdomen.
According to court records, the victim’s injuries were life-threatening and she had to undergo eight surgeries because the bullet was lodged in her spine.
Assistant Attorney General Eugene James Connor, Jr. argued the case for the prosecution.