Case Caption: Nesta James v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2011-0052Date: 12/12/2013Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary:

Defendant's convictions for attempted murder and a related firearms charge arising from a shooting are affirmed. Admission into evidence of videotape security surveillance footage with a card game superimposed in the middle segment was not an abuse of the trial court's discretion. Defense counsel was able to review, prior to the trial, the version of the videotape played at trial and no Rule 16 violation occurred. The videotape surveillance footage was properly authenticated prior to its admission in evidence by the testimony of two witnesses, and any questions concerning the chain of custody of the videotape would not render it inadmissible, but would be considered by the jury in terms of the videotape's accuracy and weight. Even if the videotape were inadmissible, there was no showing that it was in any way prejudicial to the defendant, and there was more than sufficient evidence presented at trial independent of this recording, upon which the jury could convict this defendant. Thus there is no basis for finding that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting the videotape. The testimony of witnesses sufficiently established the elements of all the crimes charged when the testimony is viewed in a light most favorable to the People. Thus the evidence at trial was sufficient to uphold the convictions on all counts, and the convictions are affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion