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- St. Petersburg, Florida -

- Durango Steak House Manager Stabbed to Death ! -

- The Suspect -

Wilson Saintil - Age 51

A Haitian Immigrant

 

- Husband, Father, Assistant Manager, Musician, Friend to Many - And Now He is Dead ! -

- The Victim -

Stephen Francis Holmes - Age 29

Married with one son, 8

 

 

Details of the Crime

In St. Petersburg, Florida, on Sunday, December 11, 2005, around 10:00 p.m., Wilson Saintil, 51, a Haitian refugee, stabbed Durango Steak House assistant manager, Stephen Francis Holmes, 29, to death. Mr. Holmes body was discovered by an exterminator who was making his regular rounds at around 12:00 midnight. Durango Steak House is located at 3901 4th Street, North. Holmes lived just seven blocks from the restaurant.

 

 Burton Bullard, a Durango spokesman, said Holmes was a devoted husband and father who was promoted recently to assistant manager. Mr. Holmes lived together with his wife, Jennifer, and eight-year-old son, Mikey. The death of Holmes is the 31st homicide this year in St. Petersburg, the highest one-year total in the city since 1995. Investigators say they learned there was some missing cash from the restaurant, and it appears robbery was the motive. The suspect worked for several years as a maintenance man at the restaurant, and has a long criminal history. Stephen Holmes was buried on Saturday, December 17, 2005.

 

A judge ordered 51-year-old Wilson Saintil held without bond and appointed him a public defender. Saintil is charged with first degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Stephen Holmes.

Saintil was arrested Friday, when he returned to Durango's Steak House on 4th Street North. That's where Holmes' body was discovered early Monday morning.

Authorities say Saintil stabbed Holmes to death and robbed the restaurant. Saintil had been the maintenance man at the restaurant for several years.

Meanwhile, Holmes' co-workers, friends and family paid their final respects to the husband and father.

Holmes' widow said on Friday she was shocked when she heard Saintil may be responsible. He and her husband had been friends.

She says she didn't meet Saintil until after the murder, when he showed up at her home.

Jennifer Holmes, Widow:
"He didn't say anything. He didn't say anything at all. He shook my hand, he didn't even look up. I donít know, people were saying he blamed himself, he was the last person to see Stephen alive and I thought he was just devastated over it all. He just stood there numb."

Saintil has a criminal history in Miami of robbery and aggravated assault with a weapon.

Saintil, who was born in Haiti, has lived in Florida since at least 1975. Records show that in 1982 he was convicted in Miami-Dade County of robbery, aggravated assault and carrying a concealed weapon.

Records show he has been divorced at least three times, most recently in March. Last year, his then-wife got a temporary domestic violence injunction against him, but it was dismissed earlier this year. More than once he has been pursued in court for not paying child support.

Earlier Friday, police used a bloody fingerprint to link Saintil to the crime, police Sgt. Mike Puetz said. Investigators watched several locations, including the restaurant, where Saintil has a key.

Puetz said they saw Saintil on Friday, December 16, 2005, go inside Durango, where he spent several hours cleaning. He walked out to officers waiting to arrest him about 4:45 p.m.

Robbery apparently was the motive in the slaying: Police said more than $1,000 was taken. Holmes, who was stabbed several times in the upper body, appeared to have struggled with the killer, police spokesman Bill Proffitt said.

Saintil, of 550 50th Ave. N, Apt. 9, has had the contract to clean at least two area Durango restaurants for several years, police said.

Puetz said Saintil went to the restaurant early Monday to steal, not clean.

Florida Department of Corrections records show Saintil served at least four years starting in 1982 for a Miami-Dade County arrest on armed robbery, aggravated assault and concealed weapon charges. He was placed on probation for those crimes in 1986.

After his arrest, Saintil asked for a lawyer and did not provide additional information for investigators, Proffitt said. A person who answered the phone at Saintil's home Friday had no comment on the arrest.

A man who answered Saintil's home phone number said the family had no comment.

Holmes was a St. Petersburg native who graduated from Northeast High School and was an aspiring musician. He played bass and keyboards. Next month, the group was to play for his 30th birthday.

Holmes' widow, Jennifer, could not be reached for comment Friday night. In an interview Thursday, she said she was having trouble coping with a tragedy so close to Christmas and knew it was affecting their 8-year-old son, Mikey.

Holmes' funeral today, Saturday, December 17, is at Holy Family Catholic Church in St. Petersburg. The public is invited to the 9:30 a.m. service, followed by burial.
 

 

 

See Original Articles

 

December 13, 2005: Steak House manager killed:

http://news.tbo.com/news/MGB5EYMJ5HE.html

December 16, 2005: Police make arrest - Photos:

http://news.tbo.com/news/MGBK3O5FBHE.html

December 16, 2005: Arrest made:

http://www.tampabays10.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=22676

December 17, 2005: Suspect appears in court:

http://www.tampabays10.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=22689

December 17, 2005: Suspect is refugee from Haiti with long Police record:

http://www.sptimes.com/2005/12/17/Southpinellas/Durango_slaying_suspe.shtml

December 17, 2005: States that Saintil served 4 years in prison.

http://news.tbo.com/news/MGBK3O5FBHE.html

 

 

 

 

Comment:

 

A Google New Search turned up only 15 articles (many of them duplicates) from local news media. There was no national (or even regional) media coverage of this story. What should have made this story worthy of national media coverage is the fact that the perpetrator came from Haiti when he was 21 years old; he had a long police record, which included convictions in 1982 for robbery, aggravated assault, and carrying a concealed weapon, for which he served four years in prison. He was released in 1986 and placed on probation.

 

Saintil has been married and divorced at least three times; his last wife had to seek an injunction against him to protect herself. And, even though Saintil was a convicted felon, the Durango Restaurant chain hires him to do janitorial and maintenance work at restaurants whereby he is given the keys to these restaurants. I would say that this murder provides good reason to review their hiring policies. Wilson Saintil has been charged with first-degree murder, which makes him eligible for the death penalty in Florida, which does have capital punishment.

 

And so another young White person is killed by a Black male, and this time from Haiti, the premier breeding ground for violence in the Western Hemisphere. This case should serve as one more reason not to allow any immigration from Haiti. It is unconscionable that the US government should allow the immigration of any Black males into the USA, in light of the fact that we are having so many problems with the Black males that are already here.

 

Stephen Holmes knew Wilson Saintil for many years; Stephen thought they were friends and he was evidently too trusting. This is another lesson to be learned from this case: Black males are so lacking in conscience, and so lacking in character, that friendship, as White people understand it, does not exist for them. The most important thing for Black males is what they can get out of a situation for themselves - even if they have to kill a long-time friend to get it.

 

We can only repeat what we have so often stated: do not turn your back on a Black male - even if you think that he is your friend. It is truly sad that we have to issue such advice in a public forum, but we make such statements based on many case studies. Of course, this will not be true in all cases, but it is better to be safe than sorry. It is generally sound advice never to be too trusting, and this is particularly true when it comes to Black males. One can never be too cautious or too vigilant - your life may depend on it.

 

Yours Faithfully, Liberty

 

 

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