Evidence – Other acts
It was not an abuse of discretion, in a drug-trafficking prosecution, for the district court to admit evidence of the defendant’s possession of user-quantity cocaine a few weeks after the charged crimes.
“We cannot say that admission of the September 29 evidence was an abuse of discretion under these standards. The government articulated a reasonable, if a bit wobbly, theory of relevance to a non-propensity matter central to the prosecution and defense. The government presented enough evidence that a factfinder could decide the cocaine found on September 29 belonged to Mr. Gomez. Evidence that would support an additional inference that Mr. Gomez was a conspirator was especially important in light of Mr. Gomez’s theory of defense. The district court listened to eloquent argument from Mr. Gomez’s counsel concerning the risk of unfair prejudice, but ultimately disagreed, admitted the evidence, and gave a limiting instruction to reduce that risk.”
12-1104 U.S. v. Gomez
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Hibbler, J., Miller, J.