N’Kosi Parris of St. Croix was arrested Wednesday on charges associated with the 2011 murder of 16-year old Jamal Richardson.
Parris was charged with aggravated rape in the second degree, child exploitation, possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence and murder in the second degree.
Richardson’s body was discovered Jan. 25, 2011, in the half-constructed Wesleyan Church in Estate Two Brothers, Frederiksted. He had been severely beaten.
In the wake of the murder, Richardson’s family claimed he had been targeted because he was a homosexual. Police Chief Christopher Howell declined to comment on the motivation or give details on how Richardson had come to be at the church.
Howell said those were questions that the investigators have answered, adding, “I don’t think it would be appropriate at this time to talk about it.”
Parris is already an inmate at the Bureau of Corrections. He was arrested on March 31, 2011, in connection to a botched robbery at the Two Brothers Meat Market in Frederiksted that resulted in the murder of storeowner Munif Awawda.
“He is currently under arrest and he’s awaiting trial now on two different murder cases,” Howell said.
Howell credited the community for supplying tips that led them to suspect Parris, but ultimately their case was made with DNA evidence.
“There were two sets of DNA that were sent to the lab. The second set came back last week, which was the final piece of evidence needed to charge this case,” he said.
When asked if any other arrests in the case were forthcoming, Howell declined to comment but did not rule it out.
“The investigation always is continuing. There is no statute of limitations on murder,” said public information officer Melody Raines. “Right now we have one suspect who is going to be charged with this murder.”