District Court Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller on Wednesday ordered that former V.I.P.D. Capt. Enrique Saldana be granted bail modifications pending trial, including the right to confer with the attorneys representing him in a murder and assault case in V.I. Superior Court.
Saldana was arrested last May for the murder of his wife, Janette Magras-Saldana, and has appeared in court several times on matters related to those charges. At the same time he has been dealing in District Court with parole issues stemming from a 2011 case in which he was found guilty of extortion and conspiracy. Saldana was still on supervisory release during the time of his most recent arrest and could have gone back to jail or been subjected to other conditions set by a judge.
During a hearing in February, Miller found probable cause to charge Saldana with violating his parole but ruled that he could be released into home confinement pending a parole revocation hearing that is still in process. According to Miller’s February ruling, Saldana could be released to a third-party custodian – his sister – after he posted bail. Bail was set at $100,000 cash or $200,000 property bond, which his sister said she could cover.
During a District Court hearing Wednesday, Miller further ruled that:
– Saldana must be allowed to meet with his Superior Court attorneys when necessary, but must tell the parole office in advance and travel to the meetings with at least one of his third-party custodians,
– Saldana be allowed to visit with his mother at the home of his third-party custodians on the condition that they do not discuss any of the parole issues pending before the court, and
– The probation office shall provide to Saldana’s third-party custodians a copy of an executed telephone records waiver.
Court documents indicate that Saldana called 911 dispatchers early on May 2, 2014, to report that his wife 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.
Saldana’s Superior Court trial is expected to begin in early May.