Case Caption: Luis Melendez v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2010-0071Date: 02/02/2012Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In a prosecution on two counts of first degree murder, along with charges of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, unauthorized possession of a firearm, and interference with an officer discharging his duty, there was no reversible error in the trial court's admission of evidence seized pursuant to a search warrant after another individual's vehicle was allegedly seized illegally, or in the court's admission of statements by a co-defendant (his sister) which did not bear testimony against the defendant. The trial court's receipt into evidence of death certificates of two of the victims, without testimony from the medical examiner who authored them, was in violation of the Confrontation Clause but amounted to harmless error in the context of this case. Nor did the trial court's handling of claims of juror misconduct, its failure to transfer defendant's case to another venue sua sponte based on evidence presented by another co-defendant, or its rulings relating to rebuttal witnesses deny defendant a fair trial. The convictions and the judgment of the Superior Court are affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion