Case Caption: Lorn Henley, Jr. v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2013-0081Date: 08/28/2014Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary:

A conviction for the crime of reckless endangerment under 14 V.I.C. § 625, arising out of an incident in which multiple gunshots were fired in a public area by diverse weapons, is reversed and vacated. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the People, and considering the totality of the circumstances and all the evidence presented, a verdict may not rest merely upon suspicion, speculation, or conjecture or any overly attenuated piling of inference upon inference. Here, although there was evidence that this defendant shouted that he was carrying a gun, and that he made a gesture toward a back pocket, and after the gunshots he hurriedly departed the crime scene with the victim's blood on his clothing and on his vehicle, two officers who were on the scene and had an opportunity to observe the defendant during the altercation testified that they did not see him in possession of a firearm nor did they see him discharge a firearm. One officer was located between the defendant and the victim. There was no evidence that the defendant had any significant amount of gunshot residue on his clothing or his hands. Some 25 bullet shell casings, from at least two different weapons, were found at the crime scene. The totality of the evidence failed to confirm that defendant engaged in conduct as a principal and utilized or discharged a firearm creating a grave risk of danger to another person. His conviction for reckless endangerment as a principal under 14 V.I.C. § 625(a) is reversed, and the conviction vacated.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion