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Lerner Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to All Charges

Nov. 6, 2008 — One of the individuals suspected of robbing, kidnapping and murdering V.I. Superior Court law clerk Gabriel L. Lerner late last month pleaded not guilty Thursday to all the charges against him.
Devon A. Frett, 22, is being held without bail pending a detention hearing that will determine whether he will continue to stay in jail until his trial starts early next year. In addition to first degree murder, Frett is also facing first degree assault, reckless endangerment, kidnapping, robbery and associated weapons charges.
Lerner, a judicial law clerk for Superior Court Judge Brenda J. Hollar, was reported missing around 1 p.m. Oct. 29 after he had not shown up to work for two days. Police found his body shortly after midnight the next day. Frett and a 17-year-old minor were seen driving Lerner's car the day before and managed to elude police officers after leading them on a high-speed car chase through the streets of St. Thomas.
The two were detained and brought in for questioning shortly after. Information provided by the minor — who was discovered by police to be a runaway — is what led police to Lerner's body to police detectives. (See "Devon Frett Charged with Murder in Death of Gabriel Lerner").
Justice officials have said the minor is facing similar charges and that the process of getting him bound over as an adult is ongoing.
On Thursday, V.I. Superior Court Judge Leon Kendall set the deadline for discovery in the case against Frett for Nov. 24, the deadline for all motions for Dec. 8, the deadline for all responses to motions for Dec. 22 and the deadline for disposition by plea for Jan. 23. The case has been assigned to V.I. Superior Court Judge Michael C. Dunston.
Jury selection for the trial is scheduled for Feb. 17, 2009.

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