Long-delayed trial set to begin for man accused of '07 murder
Published: September 10, 2012
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ST. CROIX - Jury selection and trial is expected to take place beginning today in a murder case that has taken more than five years to come before the court.
V.I. Superior Court Presiding Judge Darryl Donohue is scheduled to hear the case against David Phillip, beginning this morning.
Phillip, 28, of Estate La Grange was arrested in October 2008 on charges that he shot and killed Juan Berrios, 27, during the summer of 2007. He is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault, possession of an unlicensed firearm, possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence and reckless endangerment.
Phillip pleaded not guilty and requested a jury trial, which has been delayed because of issues with forensics testing as well as by legal disputes.
Berrios, a resident of Estate Whim died of injuries suffered a couple of days earlier in a shooting. According to police, Berrios was driving his 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier in the Mon Bijou area about 4 p.m. on June 28, 2007 when someone opened fire on the car and a bullet struck him just above the knee.
Police said the bullet appeared to have hit a major artery.
According to police, after Berrios was shot, he lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree. Emergency medical technicians arriving on the scene had to resuscitate him. Berrios was taken to Luis Hospital, where he died days later.
Police secured a search and arrest warrant in the case after Phillip was identified as the person responsible for the shooting.
Bail for Phillip had been set at $250,000, and he has remained jailed at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility since his arrest.
If he is convicted, he faces a mandatory prison term of life without the possibility of parole just on the murder charge.
He could face as much as an additional 60 years in prison on the other charges.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.