Sufficiency of evidence
1. Whether Appellants were deprived of their Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury because the Trial Court, over objection, erroneously permitted the government to introduce a vast array of evidence of uncharged violent crimes the jury could not have concluded by a preponderance of evidence they committed, that were neither similar to nor related to the charged offenses, and were far more prejudicial than probative of any issue in this case?
2. Whether, due to misinterpretation of evidence rules, the Trial Court deprived Appellants of their right to confront government witnesses and to present a complete defense by excluding evidence of uncharged crimes by a key cooperating codefendant, where counsel had a good faith basis for their questions; from the proffered evidence jurors could conclude that the witness committed the crimes; the uncharged conduct was evidence of the witness’s bias and motive to implicate Appellants, rather than other, closer associates; and the proffered evidence was substantially more probative than prejudicial?
United States v. Burwell, et al., No. 06-3070 — Appellants charged with RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, four armed bank robberies, two armed assaults with intent to kill. Appellants challenged the Trial Court's rulings on the admissibility of evidence of their alleged other crimes and bad acts, and exclusion of similar evidence they proffered regarding the government's star cooperating codefendant. Individual appellants argued that the Judge erred by denying severance motions, by failing to limit government interference with final argument, and that tere was insufficient evidence to convict them.
Bonilla v. United States, No. 98-CF-212, 06-CO-1164 -- In first-degree murder case prosecutor used grand jury subpoenaes to require potential witnesses to appear in his office repeatedlyfor interviews, attempted to coerce them to provide information supporting the government's theory of the case He only took before the grand jury those who eventually changed their accounts to conform to the government's theory. Although several of those witnesses gave statements which were exculpatory and others impeached government witnesses, the prosecutor withheld them until witnesses testified at trial, preventing defense counsel from investigating and calling witnesses. In the middle of trial the Judge allowed a government witness to testify about a codefendant's admission that he and another defendant argued over who would use a knife in the fatal attack. Although the statement did not directly implicate Bonilla, the argument occurred in the back seat of Bonilla's car. The argument was inadmissible against Bonila, but it was the only evidence that he knew his passengers were armed.
1. Whether the Trial Court lacked jurisdiction to try Appellant as an adult because the counts in the indictment charging assault with intent to murder while armed were defective in that they failed to inform Appellant of the nature of the charges against him, and did not demonstrate that the Grand Jury found essential elements of the offense —malicious intent to kill and the absence of justification, excuse or mitigation, and therefore his conviction must be vacated?
2. Whether Appellant’s conviction for aggravated assault while armed on David Rodriguez must be vacated because the government failed to produce any evidence that he suffered serious bodily injury as a result of the stab wounds he sustained?
3. Whether, in the absence of evidence that Appellant had any direct contact with Omar Gonzales, Appellant’s conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon on Gonzales must be vacated because the government failed to produce evidence that Appellant aided and abetted the assault?
Palacio v. United States, 938 A.2d 672 (D.C. 2007) -- Evidence insufficient to support conviction for aggravated assault while armed, sufficient to support aiding and abetting assault with a dangerous weapon, indictment charging juvenile with assault with intent to murder while armed, creating jurisdiction to try him as adult not defective.