Case Caption: Ottley Smith v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2010-0064Date: 12/15/2011Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In a prosecution for unauthorized possession of a firearm in violation of 14 V.I.C. § 2253(a) the trial court did not err in admitting ammunition and "speed loaders" for that weapon into evidence as probative of defendant's possession of the gun. The trial court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence a knife found in defendant's belongings at the time of his arrest, since it was completely irrelevant to whether he unlawfully possessed the firearm on the date in question, but this was harmless error. The court's failure to conduct a hearing after being informed that one or more jurors may have fallen asleep at different points during the trial did not violate the defendant's right to a fair and impartial trial, since there was no evidence that any of the jurors were unable to consider the case fairly, and defendant failed to show, or even allege, that their sleep had a prejudicial effect on his defense. The Superior Court's judgment of conviction is affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion