Five people convicted of serious violent crimes, including four individuals charged with murder, are scheduled for parole hearings, according to V.I. Bureau of Corrections spokesman Winthrop Maduro.
The Virgin Islands Parole Board will convene on Wednesday, Oct. 14 to hear testimony from victims, family members of victims, or other interested persons for and against the application for parole by inmates incarcerated at various penal institutions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all parole hearings will be held via secure video/teleconferencing for inmates housed at Citrus County Detention Center in Florida, and John A. Bell Adult Correctional Facility, St. Croix, also known as Golden Grove prison.
One of the inmates being considered for parole is Daryl Beaupierre, who was convicted of first-degree rape, false imprisonment, unlawful sexual contact, and possession of a knife during a crime of violence, according to a news release from Maduro.
Beaupierre was arrested after he assaulted a woman for hours in September 2007 by beating, raping, choking and cutting her with a knife, according to court records.
On Dec. 17, 2008, Beaupierre was sentenced to 17 years and six months in prison for the rape, and the judge also ordered him to serve a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence before he would be considered eligible for parole.
Beaupierre challenged that mandatory minimum in an appeal to the V.I. Supreme Court, arguing that such restrictions on sentencing are “a legislative infringement on his due process right to individualized sentencing.”
The justices rejected that argument in an opinion filed in Aug. 2011, and said they believed the 10-year prison sentence was justified by the serious nature of Beaupierre’s 10 felony convictions, nine of which were for crimes of violence. The other four inmates being considered for parole were all convicted of second-degree murder, including Thomas Romero and Eduardo Garcia, who has previously had a parole revocation, according to Maduro.
Inmate Nathaniel Hazel was also convicted of first-degree assault and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, according to the news release.
In 2004, when he was 23 years old, Hazel was ambushed by four other inmates at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility and stabbed with a sharp object, V.I. Police said at the time.
Inmate Marley Saunders was one of three men convicted in connection with the robbery and murder of Gregory LaBlanc, 41, on Back Street in August 2013.
Saunders, who was 21 at the time, was not the gunman who shot LaBlanc to death, but surveillance video showed him and the two other men chasing the victim and cornering him in a stairwell, police said.
Whether an inmate is eligible to apply for parole is determined by the terms of their sentence and the requirements of the V.I. parole statute, according to the news release from Maduro.
“The fact that an inmate’s name may appear on the list of those deemed eligible to apply for parole does NOT guarantee either that parole will be granted or that a parole hearing for that inmate will take place as scheduled,” Maduro wrote.
“Even if eligible to apply for parole, no inmate may be granted parole unless he/she is recommended for parole by the Director of the Bureau of Corrections.”
Anyone who wishes to share testimony on behalf of or against any inmate must submit written comments to the board or advise the board of their desire to appear and testify. Such notices must be received by the board no later than Oct. 5. Written comments or requests to testify should be addressed to:
Chairman of the Parole Board
John A. Bell Adult Correctional Facility Rural Route 1, Box 9909
Kingshill, V.I. 00850-9715
340-773-6309 ext. 6817