United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
R. Grand United States Magistrate Judge.
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
NEW TRIAL 
Gershwin A. Drain United States District Court Judge.
October 13, 2016, a jury found Michael Taylor Gardner
(“Defendant”) guilty of sex trafficking of a
minor; sex trafficking using force, fraud, coercion, or any
combination of such means; and production of child
pornography. See Dkt. No. 77. Defendant filed a
Motion for a New Trial on November 2, 2016. Dkt. No. 81.
motion is fully briefed. The Court originally scheduled a
hearing on Defendant's pending motion. After reviewing
the parties' submissions, the Court concludes that a
hearing is not necessary and that the Motion for New Trial
can be properly decided on the papers. See Local
reasons stated below, Defendant's Motion for a New Trial
Rule of Criminal Procedure 33 provides that a court
“may vacate any judgment and grant a new trial if the
interest of justice so requires.” Fed. R. Crim. P.
33(a). “The decision to grant or deny a motion for new
trial rests within the district court's sound
discretion.” United States v. Seago, 930 F.2d
482, 488 (6th Cir. 1991). “The defendant bears the
burden of proving the need for a new trial and such motions
should be granted sparingly and with caution.”
United States v. Turner, 995 F.2d 1357, 1364 (6th
motion, Defendant argues that the Court decided the Motion to
Suppress and Motions in Limine incorrectly, but has chosen to
reserve arguments on these motions for appeal. Dkt. No. 81,
p. 2 (Pg. ID No. 721). As to issues that arose during the
course of the trial, Defendant makes two arguments for why a
new trial is necessary. First, Defendant argues that the
Court's decision that neither party could engage in
recross examination infringed on his rights under the
Confrontation Clause. Second, Defendant asserts that the
Court erred in allowing rebuttal testimony of Orin King and
denying Defendant surrebuttal. For the reasons discussed
below, the Court will DENY Defendant's Motion.
Denial of Opportunity to Recross Examine Witnesses
Defendant asserts that the Court's refusal to allow
either party to recross examine witnesses violated his Sixth
Amendment rights. Dkt. No. 81, pp. 4-8 (Pg. ID No. 723-27).
Defendant does not specify what new information the
Government elicited on redirect from any witnesses that
of a witness is a matter of right.” Alford v.
United States, 282 U.S. 687, 691 (1931). However, this
right is not absolute. United States v. Beverly, 369
F.3d 516, 535 (6th Cir. 2004). The Sixth Circuit vests the
district court with broad discretion regarding the scope of
cross-examination. Id. “Trial judges retain
wide latitude ‘to impose reasonable limits on such
cross-examination based on concerns about, among other
things, harassment, prejudice, confusion of the issues, the
witness' safety, or interrogation that is repetitive or
only marginally relevant.' ” United States v.
Blakeney, 942 F.2d 1001, 1022 (6th Cir. 1991) (quoting
Delaware v. Van Arsdall, 475 U.S. 673, 679 (1986)).
Accordingly, the Sixth Amendment does not grant a criminal
defendant absolute control over cross-examination. Dorsey
v. Parke, 872 F.2d 163, 166 (6th Cir. 1989).
Sixth Circuit has “permitted district courts to curtail
or even to deny recross-examination if the government elicits
no new matters on redirect examination.” United
States v. Payne, 437 F.3d 540, 548 (6th Cir. 2006);
see alsoUnited States v. Odom, 13 F.3d
949, 957 (6th Cir. 1994) (finding a trial court's
limitation on recross-examination was not an abuse of
discretion); United States v. Dabelko, 952 F.2d 404
(6th Cir. ...