Case Caption: Enrique Saldana v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: SCT-CRIM-2017-0055Date: 11/20/2020Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: 2020 VI 21Summary: The Superior Court’s June 14, 2017 judgment and commitment implementing the verdict of a jury which adjudicated the defendant guilty of several crimes, including murder in the second degree, in the death of his wife, are affirmed. A plain reading of the Virgin Islands murder statutes makes clear that second degree murder is a lesser included offense of first degree murder and, accordingly, the defendant could be properly charged and convicted under 14 V.I.C. §§ 921 and 922(b), even though he was found not guilty of first degree murder under 14 V.I.C. §§ 921, 922(a)(1). In this case the People presented sufficient evidence for a rational jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed second degree murder, and it was not error for the court to fail to instruct the jury on the defense of voluntary intoxication. The Superior Court did not err in its decision to allow the People to present evidence of the defendant’s motive for murdering his wife, and the People’s expert witnesses were qualified to give the expert testimony presented, which did not violate the defendant’s confrontation rights. Accordingly, the convictions are affirmed.
Attachment: Open Document or Opinion