Case Caption: Harim Almando Prince v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S.Ct. Crim. No. 2010-0076Date: 09/13/2012Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary:

On appeal from convictions in the Superior Court on charges of third degree assault and domestic violence in violation of 14 V.I.C. § 297(2) and (4) and 16 V.I.C. § 91(b)(1)(2), as well as use of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence in violation of 14 V.I.C. § 2251(a)(2), the defendant has failed to demonstrate plain error in the trial court's jury instructions referring to a deadly or dangerous knife, or its interchangeable use of "deadly" and "dangerous" in the jury instructions. The terms used would not create any misunderstanding for a reasonable jury and, accordingly, any error would have been harmless in the circumstances of this case. A defendant is entitled to instructions on defenses only if the trial record contains evidence sufficient for a reasonable jury to find those defenses applicable, and if the defenses are not substantially covered by other instructions. Here an instruction was given on self-defense under 14 V.I.C. § 43 and the evidence failed to support the giving of instructions on separate defenses concerning use of force to resist attempted harm against one's person, property or family, or to resist an attempt to kill or injure another. The instruction that was given on self-defense was sufficient to substantially cover the self-defense provisions of 14 V.I.C. §§ 41(2), 44(a)(1), and 293(a)(6). The convictions are affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion