Case Caption: Kalid Canton v People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2011-0079Date: 11/03/2014Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary:

Convictions for first-degree murder, unauthorized use of a firearm, and reckless endangerment, arising out of an incident in which multiple gunshots were fired into an individual sitting in a parked car, are reversed and the matter remanded to the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands for a new trial. Although the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the People, was sufficient to sustain all of these charges, the Superior Court erred when it admitted a witness's prior inconsistent statement as substantive evidence under 14 V.I.C. § 19, a statute this Court, in Simmonds v. People, 59 V.I. 480 (V.I. 2013), held had been implicitly repealed by the Virgin Islands Legislature. Although the defendant had not objected to the admission of this evidence, a new trial was required even under the plain error standard of review because the inconsistent statement was virtually the only substantive evidence of guilt, thus rendering it highly probable that the evidence resulted in his conviction.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion