Case Caption: Clayton Brown, Jr., v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2007-0063Date: 05/25/2011Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In a prosecution for attempted murder, assault, use of an unlicensed firearm during a crime of violence, and possession of ammunition, the People failed to introduce sufficient evidence to prove the ammunition offense beyond a reasonable doubt, because Virgin Islands law did not at that time provide a mechanism for authorizing possession of ammunition and thus it could not be proven that defendant was not authorized to possess it; that conviction is reversed. The defendant's convictions on the other offenses are affirmed. While the Superior Court failed to advise defendant of his rights at an early court appearance, defendant was represented by counsel and has not demonstrated any resulting prejudice. Evaluating defendant's speedy trial claim under governing factors, he has failed to identify any prejudice other than that stemming from pre-trial incarceration, some of which was attributable to turnover of attorneys representing defendant during this period. Thus the Superior Court did not err in finding that dismissal of the information was not justified. The alleged failure to "merge" defendant's conviction for first degree assault with his conviction for attempted murder could not have violated his substantial rights because the sentences imposed were concurrent. However, the sentence imposed in this case fails to comply with 5 V.I.C. § 3711(a) and this Court's past precedents because a split sentence that imposes probation without suspending a portion of the sentence is illegal. The judgment is affirmed in part and reversed in part. The sentence is vacated, and the case is remanded to the Superior Court for resentencing.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion