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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesFormer V.I. Police Captain Saldana Pleads Not Guilty to Murder Charges

Former V.I. Police Captain Saldana Pleads Not Guilty to Murder Charges

During an arraignment hearing in V.I. Superior Court on Thursday, former V.I. Police Capt. Enrique Saldana pleaded not guilty to second degree murder, manslaughter and assault charges.

Saldana was arrested May 2 and was initially detained pending a bail hearing to determine whether he violated his current parole conditions. Now charged with murdering his wife, Saldana was also found guilty in 2011 of extortion and conspiracy and was sentenced to 41 months in jail. Saldana was still on supervisory release during the time of his most recent arrest, according to testimony provided during a previous hearing in V.I. Magistrate Court, and he could go back to jail or be subject to other conditions set by a judge.

The bail issue was expected to be addressed in a hearing scheduled for a few weeks ago, after an autopsy on his wife’s body was performed, but that hearing never happened and nothing more was revealed during this week’s arraignment.

Recent court documents indicate that Saldana called 911 dispatchers early on May 2 to report that his wife, Jeanette Magras-Saldana, was no longer breathing. According to a police affidavit, Magras-Saldana’s body was badly bruised; it appeared that her windpipe was crushed and that she also had a dislocated jaw.

After bringing his wife to the hospital, Saldana was taken to the police station. There he waived his rights and did a recorded interview with police. In his statement, Saldana recounted a series of events that ended with the couple heading to Vessup Beach for a morning swim. Coming out of the water, Saldana told police Magras-Saldana appeared to have fallen and, while helping her to the car, Saldana noticed that she appeared unable to speak, according to the affidavit written by Police Detective Jose Allen.

According to his statement, Saldana attempted to perform CPR and then went to a nearby grocery store to call for help. Police obtained a search warrant for his home, where blood was found in two rooms, the affidavit said.

According to the dates given during Thursday’s arraignment, Saldana’s next hearing is in November and his trial is expected to start in May.

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