United States v. Scott, No. 10-3978 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
This appeal arose from defendant's judgment of conviction for one count of distributing, and possessing with the intent to distribute, a controlled substance. At his trial, the prosecution introduced, over the defense's objection, testimony from two police detectives that they were familiar with defendant and had spoken to him on numerous occasions prior to his arrest in the instant case. The court held that the admission under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) and 403 of trial testimony by the officers was an abuse of discretion where the testimony served no purpose other than to invite jury speculation about defendant's propensity to attract police contact and monitoring. The court further held that such error was not harmless and therefore vacated the conviction and remanded for a new trial.