Case Caption: Jermaine A. Williams v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2011-0048Date: 06/29/2012Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In considering defendant's appeal from convictions for second degree murder, first degree assault, and third degree assault, in which he argues that the Superior Court improperly admitted the prior inconsistent statements of two witnesses to prove that he shot and killed the victim, that there was insufficient evidence to prove that he shot and killed the victim, and that his convictions were multiplicitous, it is held that the Superior Court did not err in admitting the prior inconsistent statements under 14 V.I.C. § 19 because the defendant was given the opportunity to effectively cross-examine the witnesses in a manner satisfying the requirements of the Confrontation Clause, and it is further held that those statements provided sufficient evidence to allow a rational jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant shot and killed the victim. However, convicting and punishing the defendant for three separate offenses which all arose from a single act violates the Double Jeopardy Clause and 14 V.I.C. § 104's protection against multiple punishments for the same offense. Therefore, the case is remanded to the Superior Court so that it may impose punishment for either second degree murder, first degree assault, or third degree assault, as well as the corresponding 14 V.I.C. § 2253(a) offense, and stay the imposition of punishment for the remaining offenses.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion