Mugshot of Omari A. Horton. By. THE VIRGIN ISLANDS POLICE DEPARTMENT
ST. CROIX — Following the arrest of Omari Akeem Horton for the murder of his brother Rupert Rivera, new details of the police investigation have emerged.
Rivera died on Thursday following his admission to the Juan F. Luis hospital with a critical stab wound to his neck. Police say that his brother Omari was in the ambulance with him when it arrived at the emergency room. A security guard at the hospital told officers that they observed blood on Horton’s clothing, and further stated that he left the hospital on foot, heading north, before police arrived.
Officers were able to speak with Rivera before he succumbed to his injuries. Conscious and alert of his surroundings, he reportedly told them that he had been stabbed in the neck, but did not reveal the identity of his attacker.
During the course of their investigation, police also spoke to Rivera’s mother. When officers got to the house where Rivera had been stabbed, they said they smelled a strong odor of bleach emanating from the living room. However, there still appeared to be blood on the living room floor.
The mother told officers that the brothers had been arguing in the living room over fish. Horton reportedly fetched a knife from the kitchen, returned to the living room, and stabbed his brother in the neck. When Rivera’s mother tried to intervene, she said that her son’s brother threatened to assault her also, causing her to back away.
The woman showed police the knife she says Horton used on his brother – a kitchen knife with a black handle and a 4.5-inch long blade.
After making contact with Horton, police said he returned to the hospital where they were able to observe blood on his shorts. After he was detained and taken to the Police Operations Building, Horton provided a statement in which he denied involvement in the assault on Rivera. He was initially charged with first-degree attempted murder, but following Rivera’s death at around 11:15 a.m. Thursday, the charges were upgraded to murder.
No further details are available following Horton’s advice of rights hearing before Magistrate Ernest Morris Jr. on Friday. Based on publicly available information, a subsequent court hearing has not yet been scheduled.