|| ST. THOMAS, V.I. - A suspect charged in his mother’s murder made his initial court appearance Friday morning and Attorney General Claude Earl Walker recommended a bail of $1 million dollars, which was granted by the court.
Craig. G. Francis, 40, of Amalie Terrace Housing Community, stood before V.I. Superior Court Judge Denise Francois to be advised of his rights on one count each of first-degree murder, first-degree assault (domestic violence), third-degree assault (domestic violence), and using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence in connection with the Dec. 23 death of his mother, Jennifer Brathwaite. Based on the probable cause fact sheet in support of the arrest, Judge Francois found that there was sufficient evidence to sustain the charges.
At his advice-of-rights hearing, Assistant Attorney General Natasha Baker characterized Francis as an “extreme danger” to the community, highlighting two separate incidents – in 2005, he was charged with dousing his then girlfriend with a fluid and trying to set her alight and in 2008, he was charged and subsequently convicted of raping his girlfriend with a broomstick and trying to kill her – to bolster her request for a $1 million bail.
“Anyone who can kill his or her own mother can kill anybody else,” Baker argued.
Baker also deemed Francis a risk of flight as he was born outside of the Territory. She then asked that the court order Francis to take a mental evaluation.
In setting the $1 million bail, Francois determined that Francis is a danger to the community and a risk of flight, and ordered a psychiatric evaluation for Francis.
According to an affidavit filed by Det. Albion George, police traveled to Amalie Terrace Housing
Community in response to a report of an unresponsive female. On arrival at the scene, they found Brathwaite in the living room lying in a pool of blood. She suffered lacerations to her head, according to George.
During their investigation, police interviewed about three witnesses. Police investigation revealed that Francis and his mother were arguing because he was inside the kitchen slamming the cabinet doors, according to George’s probable cause fact sheet. Francis was witnessed striking his mother several times with an unknown object that resulted in her death, George added.
Francis is scheduled to make his second court appearance on Jan. 5, 2017, for his arraignment hearing, at which he will formally answer to the charges.