Case Caption: Jonathan Phipps vs. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: SCt. Crim. No. 2008-0032Date: 02/14/2011Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

The Court holds that, because Virgin Islands law requires that the government disprove beyond a reasonable doubt a defendant's claim that he acted in self-defense, the Superior Court committed plain error when it failed to expressly instruct the jury on the burden of proof. Moreover, the Court holds that, when a defendant charged with assault in the third degree concedes at trial that he possessed a machete, the Superior Court is not required to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of simple assault because the possibility that a jury would find that a machete is not a deadly weapon is too remote to require such an instruction.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion