United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING RULE 33 MOTION (ECF NO. 742)
F. Cox, United States District Court Judge.
matter is before the court on Defendant Kenneth Sadler's
motion for a new trial under Fed. R. Crim. P. 33. For the
reasons below, the Court shall DENY this motion.
nineteen-day trial, a jury convicted Defendant Kenneth Sadler
of various drug, gun, and witness-tampering charges on March
22, 2019. That day, Sadler filed his written motion
for judgment of acquittal under Fed. R. Crim. P. 29, which
the Court denied on April 17, 2019.
26, 2019, the Court held a status conference, at which Sadler
moved for an extension of time to file a motion for a new
trial under Fed. R. Crim. P. 33. The Court granted an
extension. The Government objected to the timeliness of the
motion, but reserved its objection to be addressed in the
briefing on the motion itself.
September 23, 2019, Sadler filed his motion for a new trial
under Fed. R. Crim. P. Rule 33. (ECF No. 742). Sadler raises
four arguments in his motion. First, he argues that
Sadler's original attorney, Doraid Elder, should not have
been removed from this case and should not have been
compelled to testify in the Government's case-in-chief.
Second, he argues that the Court should have precluded
testimony from two Sterling Heights police officers about
drug transactions with Sadler in February 2012. Third, he
argues that the Court erred when it failed to instruct the
jury that the Government must have proven proximate cause to
convict Sadler of the “serious bodily injury or death
resulting” penalty enhancements. Fourth, he argues that
the Court erred when it failed to give the jury a cautionary
instruction in conjunction with Officer David Villerot's
“lay expert testimony” about identifying
September 30, 2019, the Government responded, renewing its
timeliness objection and attacking Sadler's motion on the
merits. (ECF No. 744).
allows the Court, upon Defendant's motion, to
“vacate any judgment and grant a new trial if the
interest of justice so requires.” Although a Rule 33
motion “may be premised upon the argument that the
jury's verdict was against the manifest weight of the
evidence, ” United States v. Hughes, 505 F.3d
578, 592 (6th Cir. 2007), Sadler does not make that argument
here. Rather, he argues that he has identified four
substantial legal errors that require the granting of a new
trial. See United States v. Munoz, 605 F.3d 359, 373
(6th Cir. 2010) (recognizing that “it is widely agreed
that Rule 33's ‘interest of justice' standard
allows the grant of a new trial where substantial legal error
assuming that Sadler's Rule 33 motion is timely, the
Court concludes that it is meritless. Every single one of
Sadler's arguments has already been previously raised,
and ruled upon, in this case.
the Court ruled that the information that the Government
sought to elicit from Elder was not privileged, and issued an
order before Elder testified that specifically outlined what
he could and could not testify to. (ECF No. 653). The
Government adhered to the Court's order during its
questioning of Elder. (ECF No. 726, PageID 6447-6451).
Sadler's Rule 33 motion presents no persuasive argument
for the Court to reconsider its conclusion on this issue,
which is fully articulated in its March 13, 2019 Order. Nor
does it identify any privileged information that was actually
revealed by Elder's testimony. Accordingly, the Court
concludes that this argument is meritless.
Court notes that, in a section heading of his motion, Sadler
appears to also argue that the Honorable Avern Cohn (who
handled all pre-trial proceedings in this case) erred by
terminating Elder's representation of Sadler. Sadler does
not expand on this argument in the body of his motion and,
therefore, it is waived.
the Court previously ruled-over the same Fed.R.Evid. 404(b)
objection that Sadler raises now-that the testimony from
Sterling Heights officers regarding drug sales made by Sadler
in February 2012 was admissible and that a cautionary
instruction was unnecessary. (ECF No. 658); (ECF No. 727,
PageID 6630). Sadler's Rule 33 motion presents no
persuasive argument for the Court to reconsider its
conclusion on this issue.
Sadler re-raises an argument that has already been rejected
by the undersigned and Judge Cohn: that the jury should have
received a proximate-cause instruction regarding the
“serious bodily injury or death resulting”
penalty enhancements. Sadler now cites United States v.
Jeffries, Case No. 16-CR-180 (N.D. Ohio, order filed on
October 1, 2018), a case where the Honorable Solomon Oliver,
Jr., held that failure to give a proximate-cause jury
instruction in a “death-resulting” case
constituted substantial legal error that required a ...