Case Caption: David M. Lopez v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2013-0060Date: 02/07/2014Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary:

Considering the defendant's appeal of the denial of his request for the application of 5 V.I.C. § 3711(c) to his sentence following his conviction for failure to report a firearm obtained outside or brought into the Virgin Islands in violation of 23 V.I.C. § 470(a), based on the exclusion pertaining to the "use of a deadly weapon" prescribed in 5 V.I.C. § 3711(c), the “use” of a firearm requires the utilization of the firearm in some activity or employing it to achieve or complete an objective. Thus, to come within the ambit of the 5 V.I.C. § 3711(c) exclusion, a deadly weapon must be put in service or used in an activity for which it was manufactured. Here, the defendant simply failed to report the firearm to the Commissioner, and it was not utilized or used in any overt or manifest action. Thus, the Superior Court made an errant conclusion of law, amounting to an abuse of discretion, in determining that the defendant's conviction did not qualify for the favorable treatment options provided by 5 V.I.C. § 3711(c). The matter is remanded to the Superior Court for further consideration of the sentence, including a determination on the application of 5 V.I.C. § 3711(c) thereto, in accordance with this opinion.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion