The vehicle which was shot by the robbers as shots were being fired while Carson Lewis ran from the MoneyGram office at Flemming Street on January 21, 2011.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
"...The guy [armed robber] took off after me and I ran between Hasim's and Lime. When I was running I was not looking back, but I heard shots fired and I saw the back glass of a vehicle shattered in front of me. So then I dropped the box containing the money...I felt scared." Those were the words of Carson Lewis, who was employed at the time at MoneyGram and came face to face with one of the robbers in the January 21, 2011 robbery at the Flemming Street outlet.
Lewis, who was shot in the leg during robbery, was giving his testimony yesterday afternoon, June 7 as the trial involving the accused men, Rodney Simmonds Jr., Mikhael Howe and Michael Stevens continued before Justice Albert Redhead.
Lewis was employed as a messenger and one of his responsibilities included picking up some of the monies earned at three MoneyGram locations - P & M, Flemming Street and Village Cay.
He testified that on January 21, after collecting monies from the other two locations, he went to Flemming Street around 4:00 pm. He said when he parked the jeep, he took out the box containing the pickups [monies] from the other two locations then took it into the building and gave it to two female employees.
"They add their earnings in one big bag and put it in the box for me to take up. The cleaner was there and afterwards Mr. Bell [security personnel] came. I took the box and the separate deposit bag and I put the bag in my pocket and held the box in my hand; and then I proceeded towards the outside accompanied by Mr. Bell."
He said he was heading to the National Bank of the Virgin Islands and it was when he exited the building that the robber pounced on him.
"When I exited, I proceeded to the jeep and I looked to my left and I saw a silver handgun so when I looked across a bit better, I saw it was a guy wearing black clothing and a t-shirt mask over his face. I turned to the opposite direction and I began to run...the direction towards Lime. The box with the money was in my hand. The guy took off after me and I ran between Hasim's and Lime. When I was running, I wasn't looking back but I heard shots fired and I saw the back glass of a vehicle shattered in front of me, so then I dropped the box containing the money. I continued running and I ran to the back of Lime," he recounted.
He said, "Then I walked across to Hasim's shoe store and Mr. Bell called me. When I received the call, I walked across to meet them by Bolos. I observed I was bleeding from the leg. It appeared to be like from one of the gunshots. I got hit in the left leg. I was picked up by Mr. Bell and Mr. Malone and went by the hospital. The doctors did an x-ray and they found a small particle inside. They dressed it and I was discharged."
Lewis said the particles are still inside his leg, but he does not suffer from any effects of the injury.
The witness said he does not know what became of the box after he dropped it and stated that besides the black shirt, black clothing and the gun, he cannot describe the robber any further.
"I saw the person before they saw me and it was like they were coming out from behind the wall at MoneyGram. I just turned and ran," he said.
L-R: Rodney Simmonds Jr, Mikhail Howe and Michael Stevens.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
During the robbery, the day's earnings ($190,500) were stolen and the monies have not been recovered.
The accused young men, who are all on remand, are charged with robbery, possession of firearm with intent to endanger a life and wounding with intent.
Meanwhile, Marlyene Campbell, Supervisor at MoneyGram testified that at the time of the incident, there were seven employees at the Flemming Street store. However, following a question by Prosecutor Leslie Ann Faulkner, Campbell said that prior to the incident, there were eight persons and one person resigned a week before the incident. She said the person that resigned was Zubida O'Neal.
Under cross examination, Simmonds Jr. lawyer, Corrine George asked Campbell whether O'Neal would work part-time and resigned due to her studies. Campbell said she did not know the reasons for O'Neal's resignation, but stated that O'Neal would sometimes work three times per week and sometimes not the full day.
Campbell agreed that O'Neal was a good worker and she never had an issue with her.
Senior Crown Counsel Valston Graham and Prosecutor Leslie Ann Faulkner are prosecuting the case, while Simmonds Jr. is being represented by Corrine George, Howe by Yohhahnseh Cave and Michael Stevens by Akilah Anderson and Nadine White.
The trial continues today.