Case Caption: Randy Burke v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2013-0014Date: 12/06/2013Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary:

Defendant's convictions for first degree murder and reckless endangerment are affirmed. The People presented sufficient evidence that a rational jury could find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was the cause of the victim's death, considering the totality of the circumstances and all the direct and circumstantial evidence presented. As a whole, the trial court's final jury instructions were more than sufficient to address each of the required elements and concepts applicable in this case, and its discretionary decision not to include the defendant's proposed instruction on the same principles was not error. Nor did the trial court abuse its discretion in admitting the testimony of an a physician who treated the victim, who had not been disclosed as planned expert testimony during discovery, since this witness' testimony was not that of an expert and never testified in the form of an opinion regarding a fact that was within the scope of her special knowledge, skill, experience, or training. There was also no error in the trial court's decision not to inform the jury of its decision to grant the defendant's Rule 29 motion with respect to certain charges prior to the jury's deliberations. Finally, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a defense motion to impeach a government witness by use of her previous conviction for importation of drugs, which did not involve false statements. The trial court's rulings on post-trial motions, and the defendant's convictions are affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion