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December 07, 2005
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FBI arrests third suspect in slaying of U.S. Islands officer

The Associated Press

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands- FBI agents arrested a third suspect in the fatal shooting of an off-duty police officer during a botched robbery last year in the U.S. Virgin Islands, officials said Tuesday.

Angel Rodriguez was arrested Friday in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and charged with the April 17, 2004 murder of Cuthbert Chapman, a veteran police officer killed while working as a security guard at a Wendy's restaurant on St. Croix island, U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta said.

Chapman was shot in the back and chest when a masked gunman leapt over the restaurant counter and demanded money. He died in a Puerto Rico hospital nine days later.

Two other men, Reynaldo Berrios, and Troy Moore, were arrested and charged with the murder last year.

Both men have been jailed and are scheduled to stand trial in March.

Rodriguez appeared before a judge in Greenville, North Carolina, on Friday and chose not to fight his extradition to the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was unclear when he would be returned to the U.S. Caribbean territory to stand trial.

If convicted, all three men could be sentenced to life in prison.

Chapman, a citizen of St. Kitts, joined the police force in 1992. At the time of the shooting, he was assigned to a bicycle patrol unit in St. Croix, the southernmost island in this U.S. Caribbean territory of 108,000 residents

His murder was the first of an officer in the territory since 1994, police said.

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