ST. THOMAS — A 45-year-old man has admitted to killing a woman as she sat inside her car in a housing community more than two years ago.
Adisa Bertrand, above, of Chocolate Hole, St. John, pleaded guilty to the March 7, 2014, murder of 24-year-old Shantee Sievenwright.
Mr. Bertrand was scheduled to stand trial on 10 charges, including first-degree murder, but rather than face a jury, he accepted the terms of a closed plea agreement, which was negotiated by Assistant Attorney General Quincy McRae and defense attorney, Julie Todman.
Mr. Bertrand appeared in court Friday for a change of plea hearing and stood before V.I. Superior Court Judge Denise Francois to formally confess to the murder. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Bertrand entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder and the remaining counts against him were dismissed. The plea offer also recommended that Mr. Bertrand be sentenced to a 25-year prison term. A second-degree murder conviction carries a penalty of not less than five years.
Judge Francois accepted the plea deal and has scheduled Mr. Bertrand’s sentencing for Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. as she awaits a pre-sentence report.
Mr. Bertrand was arrested March 7, 2014 and was held without bail since he was taken into custody.
Police officers, responding to a report of a one-car accident at Tutu Valley, found Sievenwright’s lifeless body inside a gold Honda Accord. The body bore multiple stab wounds. A stainless steel butcher knife with a 7-inch long blade was also found inside the vehicle, according to an affidavit filed by Det. Dwight Griffith.
Police later arrested Mr. Bertrand after he admitted to the crime, according to Griffith.