USVI: Sentenced to college
ST. THOMAS - Territorial Judge Leon Kendall imposed an unusual sentence Monday on convicted killer Nashibo George, 23, who stabbed Lamar Knight to death in 1995 at Charlotte Amalie High School, where both were students.Sounds like the judge has given the young man a second chance. God willing George has the wit to grab his good fortune with both hands. If Nashibo George has any sense at all, he would even enroll for summer classes and so stay out of jail as much as possible.
The sentence: George must attend the University of the Virgin Islands on weekdays to obtain a bachelor's degree over the next five years; he is to spend weekends in jail.
George was arrested on first-degree murder charges when he was 14. During a break on Feb. 1, 1995, he had stabbed Knight, a sophomore who bullied him, in the hallway that connects buildings B and C.
A Territorial Court jury found George guilty of voluntary manslaughter, which is the unlawful killing of a person without malice as a result of a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion. Jurors found him not guilty of first-degree and second-degree murder.
George has been free on bail and under house arrest for much of the nine-year period his case has wound through the criminal justice process. While under house arrest, he earned a General Equivalency Diploma and attended UVI for two semesters.
Kendall said that because George displayed a willingness to educate himself, he sentenced him to earn a bachelor's degree in the next five years. Under the terms of the sentence, George must register as a full-time UVI student, starting with the fall 2004 semester. He must take at least 15 credit hours each semester and must have a part-time job at which he works at least 20 hours a week. He must report to the Bureau of Corrections at 5 p.m. every Friday, and he will remain there until 7 a.m. on Monday. He is to be incarcerated all of the time between semesters.
If George finishes his bachelor's degree before the five-year sentence is up, he will not have to report to jail on the weekends and will immediately begin a three-year probation. If George fails to enroll at UVI, he will be incarcerated.