Impending Trials


I have five jury trials set in the next five weeks. Do you know how to try five cases in five weeks? The same way you eat an elephant: one bite at a time.

First up is a misdemeanor possession of marijuana case, next week, in which the state intends to use a dope dealing snitch witness to try to prove that my client knew that the marijuana was in his (the dope dealer’s) car. Odds are that I have much more experience dealing with cooperating codefendants than any of the prosecutors do. (That experience comes from federal trials.) The jury instructions in a snitch case give the jury lots of “outs”. Even if my client is convicted (never an impossibility), he already has enough jailtime credit to cover any rational jail sentence.

Next up (the following week) is a murder / aggravated assault / aggravated assault allegation. I have a few nasty little surprises in store for the prosecutor trying this one; my client is absolutely innocent. Unfortunately, six people got charged with the same murder and two aggravated assaults, and four of us, it seems, are going to trial together. Multidefendant trials are not pretty, but at least they’re companionable. (In federal court the real killer would have made a deal to testify against the others; fortunately we’re in state court on this one as well.)

Following that I have a little break — two class “C” misdemeanor (fine only) jury trials. It is unlikely that either of these trials will materialize, but I have to prepare nonetheless.

Then I expect to be trying an indecency-with-a-child-by-exposure case in which the “complainant,” the only person present when the accused allegedly exposed himself, has revealed that she doesn’t know whether he exposed himself or not. What the State can prove the accused actually did has a high “yech” factor, but it isn’t a crime. The prosecutor must have a nasty little surprise in store for me, since I can’t see how she’s going to prove her case otherwise.


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