Prosecutors: VIPD Police Captain Enrique Saldana Drugged, Viciously Beat His Wife Prior To Murder
LOVING WIFE: Jeanette Magras-Saldana in happier times on St. Thomas.
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CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The murder trial of former Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) Capt. Enrique Saldana began with prosecutors saying the former cop viciously beat his wife after drugging her first.
The 53-year-old Saldana is charged with one count each of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and three counts of third-degree assault, all crimes of domestic violence, in connection with the May 2014 death of his wife Jeanette Magras-Saldana. She was 43 at the time of her death.
Prosecutors will be relying on the testimony of a number of witnesses to help them prove that on May 2, 2014, Saldana showed up at his wife’s house and they began arguing. Then, he debilitated her so that she couldn’t fight back and killed her.
Later, Saldana called 911 to report that his wife wasn’t breathing and that he needed assistance to go to the hospital, telling the court that he was in the area of Food Center at the time.
An off-duty police officer, Cpl. Bernard Burke who heard the transmission, met Saldana at the hospital and helped him extract Magras-Saldana from the Jeep Saldana was driving.
“I had a hard time lifting her,” Cpl. Burke testified at the start of the trial. “To me, I was lifting dead weight.”
The nine men and six women of the jury also heard the testimony of six other witnesses, including crime scene technicians and medical personnel.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Ednin Martinez, Nadja Harrigan and Quincy McRae.
V.I. Superior Court Judge Michael Dunston is presiding over the trial which begins nearly three years after Saldana was murdered.