United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
TRICHE MILAZZO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant's Motion for New Trial (Doc. 277).
For the following reasons, the Motion is DENIED.
jury trial held September 17 through 20, 2018, Defendant Troy
Kendrick was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and
possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine
hydrochloride and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
At his trial, co-defendants Garrick Jones, Travis Carter, and
Michael Sanders testified on the government's behalf as a
condition of their plea agreements. Defendant now moves for a
new trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure
33(a), arguing that Jones, Carter, and Sanders lied in their
testimony and misled the jury.
Rule of Criminal Procedure 33(a) states, “Upon the
defendant's motion, the court may vacate any judgment and
grant a new trial if the interest of justice so
requires.” The Fifth Circuit has held “the
trial court should not grant a motion for new trial unless
there would be a miscarriage of justice or the weight of
evidence preponderates against the verdict. A new trial is
granted only upon demonstration of adverse effects on
substantial rights of a defendant.” The movant bears
the burden of demonstrating that a new trial is
points out that the plea agreements of his co-defendants
required that they tell the truth or the agreements could be
voided by the Government. Defendant alleges that each of the
co-defendants lied and yet did not suffer this consequence.
He argues that instead, the plea agreements' provisions
requiring truthful testimony, which were discussed at trial,
misled the jury to conclude that their testimony was
new trial based on false testimony is justified if there is
any reasonable likelihood that the false testimony affected
the judgment of the jury.” In order to succeed on a
motion for new trial based on false testimony, the defendant
must show that “(1) the evidence was unknown to
defendant at the time of trial; (2) defendant's failure
to learn of the evidence was not due to a lack of diligence;
and (3) the evidence is material, not merely cumulative or
impeaching. As a threshold matter, however,
“this standard requires a finding that the testimony in
question was ‘actually false.'”
Defendant provides no evidence, proof, or even argument that
statements made by Jones, Carter, and Sanders were actually
false. Indeed, Defendant does not even identify those
portions of their testimony that he believes to be false.
Defendant's motion asserts only conclusory statements,
such as, “[E]ach was proven to have lied in substantial
ways, ” and “They lied with impunity.”
These conclusory statements are insufficient to carry the
burden of proof required for a new trial under Rule 33.
not clearly indicated by Defendant's Motion, the
Government suggests that Defendant's reference to
“lies” made by his co-defendants may be a
reference to testimony of Jones and Sanders that they made
false statements about their factual bases after pleading
guilty but before trial. These false statements were
addressed by Jones and Sanders during their testimony at
trial, and Defendant cross-examined them both on these false
statements and on the fact that their plea agreements had not
been invalidated because of these false statements.
Accordingly, the jury was made aware of the witnesses'
prior false statements and was permitted to make its own
credibility determinations in light of that testimony. This
Court cannot see how this testimony warrants a new trial.
foregoing reasons, ...