Pending tests delay murder arraignment of ex-cop


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ST. THOMAS - The arraignment of Enrique Saldana, the former police captain accused of murdering his wife, was continued Thursday in V.I. Superior Court.

Prosecutors filed a motion to continue the hearing pending the return of toxicology test results, which are expected within 10 days, according to V.I. Superior Court clerk Adoracion Rivers.

V.I. Medical Examiner Francisco Landron said earlier this month that toxicology test results could greatly affect the cause of death determination.

On May 2, police arrested Saldana, who had been released from federal prison in February after serving a sentence for corruption. Saldana and V.I. Police Sgt. George Greene Jr. were convicted in January 2010 of obstruction of justice, extortion and bribery.

Saldana, 51, called 911 dispatchers at 8:30 a.m. May 2 asking for a police escort to Schneider Hospital, where he transported the body of his wife, Jeanette Magras-Saldana. Magras-Saldana was 43.

V.I. Police Detective Jose Allen was assigned to investigate the "suspicious death," according to the affidavit that Allen filled out the same evening.

While medical staff described Magras-Saldana as having a crushed windpipe, according to Allen's affidavit, Landron said that he did not agree with that initial finding. Magras-Saldana sustained serious bruising and had water in her lungs, Landron confirmed, though he could make no conclusions about the cause of death at the time.

Prosecutors did not address in court Saldana's violation of his probation or whether he would be returned at any point to federal custody.

Saldana is facing charges of second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, first-degree assault and third-degree assault.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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