After police found liquid methamphetamine hidden in the fuel tank of his truck, Martinez was indicted with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. At trial, after the government rested its case, and the district court denied Martinez's motion for acquittal, Martinez rested, and both sides closed their cases. The district court then informed the jury that there would be no further evidence, and sent them out so that the both sides could discuss jury charges. During this break, Martinez's counsel advised the district court that Martinez wished to reopen the case and testify. The district court denied Martinez's motion. After he was sentenced, Martinez appealed, challenging both the denial of his motion to reopen/testify and his sentence. The court affirmed. It first held that, because Martinez's counsel told the court that he had spoken in detail with Martinez about his option to testify before closing the defense's case, and because Martinez did not identify what the testimony would have added to his defense, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Martinez's request to reopen. The court further held that Martinez did not show that the district court clearly erred in calculating the amount of methamphetamine attributable to Martinez for purposes of sentencing.United States v. Martinez, Fifth Circuit, No. 16-50643, 9/26/17
|October 12, 2017 at 12:00 AM
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