Case Caption: Theodora Jackson-Flavius v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2010-0059Date: 12/17/2012Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary:

In a prosecution for third-degree assault, an act of domestic violence, in violation of 14 V.I.C. § 297(2) and 16 V.I.C. § 91(b)(1) and (2), the Superior Court properly instructed the jury on the charge of third-degree assault and its inclusion of references to use of the interchangeable terms "dangerous" or "deadly weapon" was not calculated to create any misunderstanding by the jury. The jury was also properly instructed on the People's burden of proof on the affirmative defense of self-defense, and the evidence presented supported their verdict on this issue. While a sentence is illegal when the term of imprisonment and the term of probation exceed the statutory maximum penalty for the crime, or when the judge imposes a period of probation without suspending a portion of the sentence, neither of these circumstances is present here and there was no abuse of sentencing discretion or imposition of any "split sentence" in this case. Finally, the Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting lay opinion testimony about the "age" of a bruise that was apparent on the arm of defendant around the time of her arrest, since this was properly admissible under the standards of Federal Rule of Evidence 701 addressing admissibility of lay witness testimony. The judgment of conviction and defendant's sentence are affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion