Case Caption: Charles R. Azille, Jr. v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2011-0033Date: 05/02/2012Author: Cabret, Maria M. Citation: Summary:

In a prosecution leading to convictions for aggravated assault and battery and disturbing the peace arising out of an altercation on the dance floor at a nightclub, the assault conviction is reversed and remanded for a new trial, but the conviction for disturbing the peace is affirmed. This case was transferred from the Magistrate Division to the Criminal Division of the Superior Court to continue the trial process, and sentencing by the Superior Court judge did not adversely affect defendant's substantial rights. However, the Superior Court committed plain error by invoking 14 V.I.C. § 4 to force the defendant to undergo a bench trial for aggravated assault since he was charged with a serious offense which guaranteed him a right to a jury trial. Therefore the conviction for aggravated assault is reversed and the case is remanded to the Superior Court for a new trial, and it is not necessary to address the argument that 14 V.I.C. § 298(5) is unconstitutional.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion