Case Caption: Blyden v. Government of the Virgin Islands et alCase Number: SCT-CIV-2019-0067Date: 08/08/2022Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: 2022 VI 15Summary: After a defendant’s conviction of numerous offenses relating to a fatal shooting on St. Thomas in 2005, this Court affirmed all but one of those convictions on direct appeal. Blyden v. People, 53 V.I. 637 (V.I. 2010). On a prior appeal from rulings on a 2013 petition for writ of habeas corpus, this Court held that the Superior Court correctly denied two claims in the petition as procedurally barred but erred by rejecting two other claims—asserting ineffective assistance of trial counsel, and that the People intentionally fabricated evidence—without an evidentiary hearing. Blyden v. Gov’t of the V.I., 64 V.I. 367 (V.I. 2016). On remand, the Superior Court held an evidentiary hearing on those two remaining claims and held that petitioner was not entitled to post-conviction relief. On the issue of alleged ineffective assistance of trial counsel, petitioner has failed to establish that his former trial counsel did not exercise her reasonable professional judgment, and – assuming arguendo that counsel somehow failed to exercise reasonable professional judgment – petitioner has failed to establish that there is a reasonable probability that absent such failure the result of the proceeding would have been different. On petitioner’s renewed allegations of fabrication of evidence, at no point in his brief does petitioner even allege that the Superior Court committed clear error by rejecting certain witness testimony. Rather, he simply asserts that the “totality of circumstances” establishes fabrication. Accordingly, the Superior Court committed no error when it declined to award this petitioner with a new trial or other postconviction relief based on his claim that the prosecution relied on purportedly fabricated evidence at his trial. The Superior Court committed no error when it denied the appellant’s request for postconviction relief, and accordingly its July 31, 2019 opinion and order are affirmed.Attachment: Open Document or Opinion