United States v. Vizcarrondo-Casanova, No. 12-2119 (1st Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
The three defendants in this appeal - Jose Vizcarrondo-Casanova, Carlos Aponte-Sobrado, and Erik Diaz-Colon - were convicted of crimes related to the kidnapping, robbery, and homicide of Elis Manuel Andrades-Telleria, a drug dealer and rival to Diaz-Colon. The defendants were among twelve people charged in a single indictment in connection with the crimes committed against Andrades-Telleria. The First Circuit affirmed all three defendants’ convictions, holding (1) the admission of evidence of prior shared criminal conduct among groups of the defendants charged in this case were permissible under Fed. R. Evid. 404(b) and 403; (2) certain remarks by the prosecutor during closing argument were not clearly and obviously improper; (3) although certain counts of Diaz-Colon’s indictment were constructively amended, the error did not prejudice Diaz-Colon; (4) the government was permitted to withdraw its plea offer made to Diaz-Colon before trial; and (5) the fact that the jury rendered inconsistent verdicts on two counts for which Diaz-Colon was convicted was not grounds for reversing Diaz-Colon’s convictions.