The man charged in slaying Bomani Christian on Nov. 1 has been arrested on murder charges twice before, and was convicted of voluntary manslaughter while already serving time in prison for voluntary manslaughter.
Kareem Richardson, 41, turned himself in to police Saturday and was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, first-degree assault, two counts of third-degree assault, first-degree burglary, carrying a firearm openly or concealed, discharging a firearm, and possession of ammunition, according to the warrant of his arrest.
Detectives responded to Catherine’s Hope in Christiansted, St. Croix, on Nov. 1 and found Christian lying face-down in a bedroom of his home with “a bullet hole in his lower back,” according to the affidavit filed by V.I. Police.
Witnesses told police that two men named “Mega” and “Jaco” entered the home with handguns and they heard two shots, according to the affidavit. Officers found the second bullet lodged in a bed and two spent shell casings on the bedroom floor.
The witnesses told police they hid from the shooters, who began searching for them, saying “come out we are not going to hurt you,” before leaving in a maroon Honda, according to the affidavit.
“Jaco,” identified as Richardson, “has been harassing and threatening” Christian since a parent conference at a school two years earlier, and Christian had told loved ones “that if something happened to him it’s ‘Mega or Jaco’ who did it,” according to the affidavit.
Witnesses said the men had been threatening to kill Christian, who “was working at the Boys and Girls Club in Christiansted, but he stopped because ‘Mega and Jaco’ went there to kill him,” according to the affidavit. A witness “stated that Mr. Christian was so fearful for his life, he was making arrangements to leave the island later this month [November].”
Police interviewed Richardson, who drives a maroon Honda, the day after the murder on Nov. 2, according to the affidavit.
In a videotaped statement, Richardson said that on Nov. 1 he went to Cost-U-Less and bought groceries for breakfast, and went back home where he stayed until 5 p.m. before going to the casino.
Richardson told police that “he had an incident at McDonald’s with Mr. Christian and then the parental conference at the school,” according to the affidavit. “He stated that at the parental conference he told them that he will deal with the incident himself.”
It’s unclear from the affidavit what prompted the initial “incident” and school conference two years ago, but a witness said they even reached out to Richardson’s girlfriend “in order to squash the issues,” but the woman said that “she is not getting involved.”
Following his arrest, Richardson was held on $1 million bond and appeared in court for his advice-of -rights hearing Monday.
His attorney, Lynn Webster, asked Magistrate Judge Ernest Morris Jr. to reduce his bail amount and release him to the custody of a third-party custodian.
Assistant V.I. Attorney General Amie Simpson argued that Richardson “is a danger to society,” and has faced murder charges twice before and was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in those cases.
Richardson was serving time in Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility on St. Croix for the Nov. 7, 1999, shooting death of Perry Brathwaite when he was charged with stabbing a fellow inmate to death.
Richardson shot Brathwaite in the back of his head at a birthday party at the Anna’s Retreat Community Center on St. Thomas and was sentenced to 10 years behind bars. Before he was released, Richardson was involved in a jailhouse brawl and was one of three men found guilty of voluntary manslaughter for killing 22-year-old inmate Timothy Heidman on March 21, 2006. Richardson received another 10-year prison sentence in that case.
Given his criminal history, Morris said he would allow Richardson to be released from jail pending trial only if he posts $100,000 in cash or property — 10% of the $1 million bond — and he must remain under 24-hour house arrest with electronic monitoring.