CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands - A man retried for the 2007 fatal stabbing of a Bucks County, Pa., native was found guilty yesterday for the second time, but on lesser charges.
Jahlil Ward was convicted of second-degree murder and third-degree assault for the killing of James Cockayne, 21, outside a bar on St. John. He will be sentenced in late January.
Ward was originally found guilty of first-degree murder in October 2008, but a judge ordered a retrial after it was revealed in court that another suspect in the killing had told an inmate he was the one who killed Cockayne, of New Hope.
That suspect, Kamal Thomas, also faces a retrial along with a third suspect, Anselmo Boston, because of allegations the victim's family had allegedly paid two of the prosecution's witnesses $5,000 each.
A date for their new trial has not been set.
Both were serving nearly 13 years in prison after being found guilty of assault and other charges.
Cockayne was on St. John with his mother awaiting work papers to start a job at a yacht club in the British Virgin Islands.
Prosecutors have said that Cockayne was drinking at a bar June 19, 2007, when Boston accused him of having kicked his girlfriend's car. Cockayne was then hit in the head with a pool cue before he and Thomas were ordered to leave the bar, according to court documents.
Cockayne was then attacked outside. Authorities said he was stabbed eight times, including a fatal wound to his left femoral artery.
Territorial Attorney General Vincent F. Frazer said he was satisfied with the resolution of the case, saying, "Ward's conviction brings closure to a long and hard-fought trial, not only for the Cockayne family but also for the Department of Justice."