A Superior Court jury on Thursday found Edwin Ponce guilty on all counts in the Aug. 29, 2011, murder of Juan Carlos Rosa, according to a statement from Attorney General Vincent F. Frazer.
Frazer took the unusual step of announcing the conviction Friday after published accounts in a local newspaper reported that Ponce had been acquitted.
Ponce was convicted on 12 charges filed against him in the shooting death of Juan Carlos Rosa. The jury also convicted him of assaulting Rosa’s wife, Bettyna Rosa.
Rosa was shot to death in the doorway of his home in Old Fredensborg Village on Aug. 29, 2011. Ponce was one of two suspects arrested in the case.
On the day of the murder officers responded to reports of shots fired at approximately 9:30 p.m. in Old Fredensborg Village. When they arrived on the scene they found Rosa unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds. He was later pronounced dead.
Edwin Rivera was identified almost immediately as a suspect and was arrested just before 4 a.m. the next day. Ponce was arrested Sept. 24 in connection with the murder and charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm because he allegedly threw a loaded .38 caliber firearm out the window as officers approached his building.
The cases of Ponce and Rivera were separated and Rivera is still awaiting trial.
Ponce faced a smorgasbord of charges including two counts of third-degree assault, two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, three counts of unauthorized firearms possession, one count of first-degree murder and one count of possession of an unlicensed firearm with altered or obliterated identifying marks.
Frazer said a headline in a local newspaper that read “Jury finds Ponce not guilty in murder of Old Fredensborg man” is simply incorrect.
“In the pursuit of justice, we understand that we may not get a conviction in every case, but when we do, it is important that the record correctly reflect the achievement for the good of the community. In this case, justice has been served for the victims and their family,” Frazer said Friday.
Frazer said the detectives of the V.I. Police Department and Assistant Attorney General Tom Sedar worked tirelessly to prepare a sound case and those efforts have been rewarded by the conviction. “I commend attorney Seder, the detectives and the staff of the Department of Justice who assisted in the prosecution of Edwin Ponce on a job well done.”