A Nadir resident was convicted Thursday in Territorial Court on charges that he aided a minor child in burglarizing a St. John home last November.
The defendant, Travis Poleon, 19, was found guilty during an hour-long bench trial before Judge Ishmael Meyers.
The government called three witnesses and a police officer to detail the incident where the neighbor of the woman whose apartment was ransacked drove up on the burglary in progress and saw Poleon hand over a metal object to the second suspect.
Both suspects fled from the area when the witness approached them.
On the witness stand, police officer Denise Frazier identified Poleon as one of two suspects positively identified by the eyewitness two hours after the burglary.
The suspects, when intercepted by police officers at the Red Hook dock in St. Thomas, were brought back to St. John's Leander Jurgen police command where they were booked on burglary, larceny and unlawful entry charges. Poleon was only convicted of unlawful entry.
Meyers rejected Territorial Public Defender Jesse Bethel's argument that Poleon was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"I find that the defendant wanted to see this unlawful entry occur," Meyers responded. As the judge announced the conviction, Poleon's mother, seated in the courtroom through the proceeding, cried openly.
Meyers stiffened the recommended sentenced of six months' supervised probation to a one-year probation term during which Poleon, a ninth-grade dropout from the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, will have to perform 100 hours of community service, refrain from any violations of the law, seek employment and report to the probation office regularly. Poleon was assessed a $25 fee for court costs.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Delia Smith, a former law clerk for Meyers, who is now on staff at the Justice Department.