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2 Jamaica friends slain in St. Thomas

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With tears starting to flow, Roberts wondered who was going to help him fix up the house now that his son was dead.Leon Roberts, 25, and longtime childhood friend Tristan Charlier, 24, were murdered about 14 hours after their flight touched down in the U.S. Virgin Islands where they had traveled to attend a wedding of Charlier's cousin, police said. The two were on American Airlines Flight 655, which arrived in St. Thomas at 12:01 p.m. June 14.Roberts, known as "Bugsy" and "Baby Jordan" to close friends and relatives, was remembered by his family Friday as a mild-mannered young man who never smoked or used drugs, avoided confrontations, was always willing to help out his family and brightened everyone's day. "He's the best a person could ask for," said his grieving father, Desmond Roberts, 55, a Guyanese immigrant. "You would like to have him as your son." "Shoot my boy. You don't even do that to a dog. He doesn't deserve that. He's too good," a distraught Roberts said.The Virgin Islands Police Department received a 911 call June 15 at 2:29 a.m. from a citizen who discovered two men lying unconscious on Veterans Drive in the St. Thomas capital of Charlotte Amalie, Police Commissioner Elton Lewis said. Both victims appeared to have been shot and were taken to Roy Lester Schneider Regional Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead at 3:27 a.m. An autopsy showed that both Roberts and Charlier had sustained multiple gunshots wounds, Lewis said. "It's the biggest tragedy in this family," said brother David Roberts, 30, who traveled to Jamaica from Baltimore. "He took care of everythingÐfinances, happiness." David Roberts said his brother never went on vacation because he was afraid to fly and never had time because he worked so hard.A skilled carpenter, Leon Roberts would spend his afternoons helping his father install wood floors, bathroom tiles and recessed lighting in their house on 147-16 110th Ave until 1 a.m. The last time Charlier visited the home, he helped father and son mold bathroom doors. David Roberts said his brother would teach his friends like Charlier how to paint and build closets."He made all his friends do everything right," he said.While the killings remained a mystery as of Tuesday, Lewis said police had ruled out robbery because the victims' personal belongings were accounted for. He said it was Roberts' and Charlier's first time on the island and they have no known acquaintances there. Several news reports stated that the two visited a local strip club late at night June 14 into the early evening the next day. Lewis could not be reached to indepently verify those accounts. In an interview with The Daily News, Twumasi Wesiel, the groom for the wedding Charlier and Roberts were to attend, he said that Charlier had an altercation in a bar where the three of them visited two hours before Charlier and Roberts were shot. Lewis said the major crime squad's forensic unit continued to actively investigate the crime scene. St. Thomas police were trying to trace Charlier's and Roberts' movements, and one of the first places they focused on was the Greenhouse Restaurant, close to the Bunker Hill hotel where the two had been staying. The New York Police Department said the two had no history of any criminal activity. Leon Roberts' cousin, Jermaine Plummer, was still in shock over the murder."I didn't believe it. I still don't believe it," he said. "But I'm happy to know that he is in a better place."Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173

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