Case Caption: Daniel Carlo Castillo v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2008-0072Date: 07/02/2013Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary:

A conviction for voluntary manslaughter is affirmed after consideration of claims that defendant's constitutional rights were violated, and a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, among other issues. Admission of certain statements made to law enforcement officers did not violate the defendant's constitutional rights since his second arrest, and information regarding the location of the victim's body, involved a source of information independent from his prior arrest and questioning. In addition, defendant knowingly and voluntarily waived certain rights, and voluntarily and spontaneously made statements to the officers, without coercion or threats, and without custodial interrogation. He also waived his right to a lawyer and instead asserted that he wanted to confess to this murder. The habitual criminals provision in 14 V.I.C. § 61 is constitutional. Defendant failed to show that the prosecutor acted vindictively in filing the habitual criminal information, and the trial court properly exercised its discretion under that statute in this case. Defendant waived on the record his right to appeal the failure to give an intoxication instruction. The confession along with the corroborating proof afforded sufficient evidence for the jury reasonably to have found defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes charged. Admission of evidence relating to the victim's underwear, while not having probative value, was not prejudicial in the context of this case. The record is currently inadequate to make a determination on defendant's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, which may be raised in seeking relief in a collateral proceeding. The defendant was subject to multiple punishments for the same crime since his conviction for the crime of manslaughter and the crime of aggravated child abuse or neglect under 14 V.I.C. § 506 were based on a single indivisible course of conduct, and he was sentenced on both charges, with the imprisonment to run concurrently. The case is remanded for resentencing in accordance with 14 V.I.C. § 104, since the proper procedure is for the Superior Court to announce a sentence for each offense and subsequently to stay execution of the sentence in which §104 is implicated.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion