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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 21, 2024


In a closed-door hearing Friday afternoon in Territorial Court, Judge Audrey Thomas-Francis found probable cause in an advice-of-rights hearing to charge 17-year-old Alexander David with arson and three counts of murder, according to prosecutor Kelly Evans.
Police arrested the youth Thursday. Because he is a juvenile, the hearing Friday was held in Family Court, and news media representatives were not allowed in the courtroom.
David, an honor student, graduated in the Class of 2000 at Charlotte Amalie High School. According to friends, he had been scheduled to leave St. Thomas on Friday for Wisconsin, where he was to begin college studies this fall with plans to major in drama.
At the time of the incident from which the charges stem, David was 12 years old. On Aug. 12, 1995, his mother, Kathleen Osuji, and her two youngest children, Briane, 2, and Kaitlin, 4, died in a fire at their Frydenhoj home. Police and Fire Services investigators said the doors were locked and the woman and children could not escape the burning structure. According to reports published at the time, the 12-year-old Alex, who was found hours later, told authorities he had escaped the burning house by jumping from a porch.
Territorial Police Chief Jose Garcia said on Thursday that arson and murder had been suspected from the beginning of the investigation because "the doors were locked." He would not say why the teen-ager was arrested more than five years after the incident.
Evans noted Friday, "There is no statute of limitations on a murder charge – he could be charged 20 years from now."
According to Evans, the next step will be a hearing for David to respond to the charges against him. The prosecutor said the hearing would be in September. Because the defendant is a juvenile, Evans said, no further information could be released.

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