United States v. Garrett, No. 17-2302 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The court held that the district court did not err by refusing to give a theory of defense jury instruction where the proposed instruction misstated the law, there was a lack of evidence negating defendant's specific intent, and the district court instructed the jury, without objection, as to the knowledge and intent elements of all three offenses. The court rejected defendant's Brady claim and held that there was no abuse of discretion in denying a new trial because there was no reasonable probability that the result of the proceeding would have been different had the lab reports been produced; defendant's claims of prosecutorial misconduct failed because the district court did not abuse its discretion by sustaining objections and the evidence of defendant's guilt was overwhelming; the district court did not err by sentencing defendant as a career offender; and, even had the district court erred in sentencing defendant as a career offender, the district court would have imposed the same sentence based on the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) factors.