US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
United States v. Crittenden
Opinion Date: August 20, 2020
Judge: Jennifer Walker Elrod
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
Defendant and his wife were convicted of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. The district court granted defendant a new trial because the record does not show that he knew that the bags he removed from his house—and the bag his wife requested that he bring her—contained methamphetamine or any other controlled substance. The Fifth Circuit affirmed and held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting a new trial on the basis of insufficient evidence of knowledge. In this case, the evidence does not show that defendant ever laid eyes on the drugs themselves; the district court was not required to credit the wife's testimony in granting the motion for new trial; and the evidence only shows that defendant complied with his wife's request to bring her the bag containing the drugs but nothing more.
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