June 7, 2004 – For Nashibo George, college will soon be a reality. But it's not just an opportunity for the 23-year-old to gain an education; it is his punishment.
George was recently convicted of killing student Lamar Knight in the territory's first school campus homicide, which took place in 1995 between Buildings B and C of the Charlotte Amalie High School campus.
Lamar was stabbed once in the chest. At the time of the slaying, George, who was 14, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. But a jury convicted him of the lesser crime of manslaughter, which is the unlawful killing of a person without malice, resulting from a quarrel or in the heat of passion.
Territorial Court Judge Leon Kendall sentenced George to attend the University of the Virgin Islands for the next five years on weekdays to obtain a bachelor's degree. His weekends and vacation periods will be spent in jail.
The now husband and father of one must carry a full course load of at least 15 credit hours per semester and maintain employment for at least 20 hours per week while enrolled at UVI. George was also assessed $75 in court costs and $200 for the administrative costs of probation. If he should fail to enroll at the university for the fall 2004 or spring 2005 semester, he would be remanded to prison.
If George finishes his degree before the five years are up, he will be released from Corrections Bureau custody and begin a three-year probation period.
George's attorney, Treston Moore, said on Monday that since the sentencing on April 26, George has enrolled in the university for the fall semester. Moore said he presumes that George's family will assist him with college costs.
Of Kendall's sentence, Moore said: "I regard it as a very creative sentence." He said he was pleased that his client "was given that opportunity."
Kendall on Monday declined to comment on the unusual nature of the sentence.
Last week, 19-year-old Jahmalie Henry was shot to death on the Education Complex High School and Vocational School campus. A 17-year-old Central High School student has been charged with first-degree murder and three comrades face weapons charges.
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