State v. GuerreraAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming Defendant's conviction of one count of murder, holding that the trial court should have dismissed rather than denied Defendant's motion for a new trial.
After the jury returned its verdict but prior to the sentencing date, Defendant filed a motion for a new trial. The sentencing hearing went forward, and the court sentenced Defendant. Defendant subsequently sought to have his motion for a new trial heard. The trial court denied the motion without a hearing on the ground that it had lost jurisdiction. The Appellate Court affirmed, holding that the motion was correctly denied because the trial court lost jurisdiction once Defendant's sentence was executed. The Supreme Court reversed in part and remanded with direction to dismiss Defendant's motion for a new trial, holding (1) given that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over Defendant's motion for a new trial, the court should have dismissed Defendant's motion; and (2) the trial court's failure to rule on Defendant's motion for a new trial prior to sentencing did not constitute plain error.