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Subject This one's for Zakk: Juror removed after allegedly flashing Masonic hand signals to Freemason murder defendent
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Original Message Could be a stunt by the prosecution in the case. Could also be legit.


(Virgin Islands DN) ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Supreme Court has ordered an evidentiary hearing to determine whether a Superior Court judge removed a juror improperly after prosecutors suspected that he flashed Masonic hand signals to convicted murderer and ex-cop Joel Dowdye during the trial.

Court records indicate that Dowdye's chest bore a Masonic tattoo when he was arrested in connection with a Bunker Hill Guest House shooting in which two victims were shot on March 25, 2006.

In March 2007, a St. Thomas jury found Dowdye guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, 22-year-old Sherett James, and trying to murder her companion, 32-year-old Daren "Bogle" Stevens, in a downtown hotel room. Dowdye later was sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus 40 years.

Dowdye was charged with six of the eight original felony charges: first-degree murder, using a dangerous weapon during the commission of that crime, attempted first-degree murder, using a dangerous weapon during the commission of that crime, first-degree assault and using a dangerous weapon during the commission of that crime.

During Dowdye's trial, his ties to the Freemasons arose several times.

William Curtis, chief investigator for the V.I. Justice Department, told The Daily News in March 2007 that two prosecutors asked him to come to court and observe the suspect juror. Curtis said he did not recognize any of the juror's movements and gestures as having such significance, but prosecutors asked V.I. Superior Court Judge Brenda Hollar to remove the man from the jury.

In 2009, Dowdye's attorney, Joseph Mingolla, told appellate court justices that his client was denied a fair trial because Hollar asked the jurors if they had any knowledge of the Masons and also had a court marshal display a Masonic symbol before jurors...

Read more: [link to virginislandsdailynews.com]

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