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United States v. Blount

September 29, 2006

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
AJA BLOUNT, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murphy, Chief District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This action is before the Court on a motion for new trial filed by counsel for Defendant, Aja Blount, on August 16, 2006 (Doc. 80),*fn1 and the Government's response to the motion filed on September 14, 2006 (Doc. 83). The Court will rule on the motion without a hearing.

BACKGROUND

Aja Blount was charged in a criminal complaint on May 5, 2005 (Doc. 1). A federal grand jury sitting in this district returned a two-count indictment against Blount on May 17, 2005, charging him with the crimes of possession with intent to distribute five (5) grams or more of a mixture or substance containing crack cocaine (Count 1) and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (Count 2) (see Doc. 11). On June 29, 2005, the Government filed an information to establish a prior offense pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851 (Doc. 18). A superseding indictment returned on July 12, 2006, added two counts: possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime (Count 3) and forfeiture of a firearm (Count 4) (see Doc. 54).

A jury trial commenced on July 18, 2006, and ended with a verdict of guilty on all counts and a special verdict that the amount of crack cocaine involved was at least 5 grams (see Docs. 73-76). Sentencing is set for October 23, 2006.

ANALYSIS

Blount moves for a new trial on a number of grounds. Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure allows a new trial "if the interest of justice so requires." FED. R. CRIM. P. 33. Such motions are disfavored, however, and they are properly granted only in the most extreme cases. See United States v. Linwood, 142 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 1998).

Blount presents the following alleged errors:

1. The denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal at the conclusion of the Government's case;

2. The guilty verdicts are not supported by substantial evidence;

3. The denial of his motion to suppress physical evidence;

4. The admission into evidence, over objection, of physical evidence that the Government allegedly found pursuant to the execution of a search warrant;

5. The denial of his motion to suppress statements;

6. The admission into evidence, over objection, of statements he made after his arrest while in custody at 1100D Arrowhead regarding the ...


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