Case Caption: Daniel Pichierri v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2011-0061Date: 06/24/2013Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In prosecution leading to findings of guilt in the Superior Court on charges of assault in the third degree, disturbance of the peace, and simple assault, along with intimidation on the basis of the victim's race, there was sufficient evidence to sustain defendant's conviction for committing unlawful acts constituting simple assault under 14 V.I.C. § 299(2). However, under the limited, detrimental reliance exception to the general rule that the government may unilaterally withdraw a plea offer at any time, the defendant is entitled to specific performance of the plea agreement that was offered in this case because he took the substantial step of standing in open court and entering a guilty plea under oath, thereby performing under that agreement in detrimental reliance upon the People's offer. Thus it is not necessary on this appeal to address the sufficiency of the evidence as to the defendant's other convictions for assault in the third degree, intimidation and disturbance of the peace. The Judgment and Commitment is vacated and the case is remanded for specific enforcement of the plea agreement.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion