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St. John Man Arrested in Cockayne Murder

Aug. 5, 2007 – A St. John resident was arrested late Friday in the nationally publicized stabbing death of 21-year-old James "Jamie" Cockayne on St. John a little more than six weeks ago.
Police Commissioner James McCall said 18-year-old Kamal "Six Pack" Thomas of Gifft Hill was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault and using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence.
Thomas is being held without bail. He will appear for an advice of rights hearing before Superior Court Judge Leon Kendall at 11 a.m. Monday.
Cockayne, who had recently moved to St. John, was stabbed to death some time after midnight on June 19 in downtown Cruz Bay. (See "Police Investigating Stabbing Death in Enighed") According to police reports, Cockayne was transported by ambulance to the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m.
Cockayne's parents, Jean and Bill Cockayne of New Hope, Penn., claimed they had received no information from V.I. police about the investigation into their son's death. In a FOX News report aired during "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" on Tuesday, Cockaynes' parents complained that police failed to keep them updated on the investigation.
Several other national news outlets have weighed in on the local response to the murder, suggesting that V.I. officials were not acting quickly enough and didn't seem concerned about Cockayne's death. It was rumored Saturday that CNN had also come to the territory.
In a statement late Saturday from his office, the police commissioner said, "The Police Department and Office of the Attorney General have kept in regular communication with the Cockayne family," adding that the family was notified at the time the arrest was made.
The statement said the investigation is ongoing and asked that anyone with information contact police by calling 911 or Major Crime at 715-5544.
"We will continue to keep the family up to date with ongoing communication regarding this case as we continue our deliberate and thorough investigation," McCall said. He credited the FBI for their assistance in the ongoing investigation.
"The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation was contacted the day after the Cockayne homicide on June 20 and has been working in conjunction with us through the Safe Streets Initiative," McCall said.
The police commissioner also thanked the National Park Service for their help at the time of the incident. McCall said Park Service employees transported VIPD officers and detectives to St. John the night of the murder.
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