Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Masonic police officer convicted of murder; juror dismissed for allegedly flashing him Masonic hand gestures

A Virgin Islands man was removed as a juror in a murder trial jury for allegedly flashing Masonic hand gestures to the defendant and others in the courtroom, including witnesses.
William Curtis, chief investigator for the V.I. Justice Department, said two prosecutors asked him on Wednesday to come to court and keep an eye on the suspect juror. Curtis said he is familiar with Masonic signals and did not recognize any of the juror's movements and gestures as having significance, but prosecutors asked [the judge] to remove the man from the jury.
Later in the trial, Elvet Carty was called as a character witness for former police detective Joel Dowdye, charged with murdering his ex-girlfriend and trying to murder her companion in a downtown hotel room.

Carty said his friend Dowdye was dedicated to the community and donated his time to working with at-risk children.

Under cross-examination Carty admitted he was Dowdye's Masonic lodge brother after the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Cornelius Williams, asked him if he was wearing a Masonic ring.

One of the first phone calls Dowdye made after the murder was to Carty.

When Williams asked whether Dowdye is a Freemason, Dowdye answered, "Just like you, sir." Williams denied in court that he was a Mason.

Link: Virgin Islands Daily News

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