State v. MooreAnnotate this Case
After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of premeditated first-degree murder and other crimes. Defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment with a mandatory term of fifty years for the first-degree murder conviction. The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions, holding (1) the district court did not err by denying Defendant’s motion for a mistrial based on a potential juror’s statements; (2) Defendant did not preserve his argument that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress an eyewitness identification; (3) the district court did err by denying Defendant’s motion for mistrial and his motion for a new trial based on the eyewitness’ changed testimony at trial; (4) the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting a weapon and the results of scientific testing conducted on it despite any deficiency in the chain of custody; and (5) the district court’s instruction to the jury to consider the degree of certainty demonstrated by the eyewitness when identifying Defendant was not clearly erroneous. The Court, however, vacated Defendant’s hard fifty life sentence and remanded the case for resentencing, holding that Defendant’s sentence was imposed in violation of his constitutional right to a jury trial, and the error was not harmless.