PEOPLE OF MI V JONELL SEARS

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STATE OF MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, UNPUBLISHED July 17, 1998 Plaintiff-Appellant, v No. 206206 Recorder’s Court LC No. 96-008886 JONELL SEARS, Defendant-Appellee. PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, Plaintiff-Appellant, v No. 206208 Recorder’s Court LC No. 96-008887 JONELL SEARS, Defendant-Appellee. Before: Murphy, P.J., and Young, Jr. and Michael R. Smith*, JJ. MEMORANDUM. Plaintiff appeals by right the trial court’s order denying its motion to reinstate charges or to grant a new trial. We reverse. These appeals are being decided without oral argument pursuant to MCR 7.214(E). In three consolidated cases, defendant was convicted after a bench trial of felonious assault, MCL 750.82; MSA 28.277, felony-firearm, MCL 750.227b; MSA 28.424(2), assault and battery, MCL 750.81; MSA 28.276, and malicious destruction of property over $100, MCL 750.337; MSA * Circuit judge, sitting on the Court of Appeals by assignment. -1­ 28.609. During sentencing proceedings, the trial court sua sponte announced that it was altering the verdicts. The felonious assault and felony-firearm charges were reduced to reckless discharge of a firearm without malice, MCL 750.235; MSA 28.432, and the assault and battery charge was dismissed. The court denied plaintiff’s subsequent motion to reinstate the original verdicts or for a new trial. Alteration of a guilty verdict is precluded on both double jeopardy principles and public policy grounds. People v Hutchinson, 224 Mich App 603, 606; 569 NW2d 858 (1997). A trial court in this respect has no greater prerogative than a jury. Id.; People v Jones, 203 Mich App 74, 82; 512 NW2d 26 (1993). The public policy rationale behind prohibiting alteration of verdicts is to encourage finality of verdicts and prevent potential abuses. Id. Once a verdict has been rendered, the fact that a judgment has yet to be entered does not affect a decision on double jeopardy grounds. Id. The double jeopardy clause permits this Court to reinstate the original verdict, but it does not permit the Court to remand for a new trial. Jones, supra, at 83. If the verdict is not supported by the evidence, defendant may move for a new trial after remand. Id. Reversed and remanded for reinstatement of the original verdicts. jurisdiction. We do not retain /s/ William B. Murphy /s/ Robert P. Young, Jr. /s/ Michael R. Smith -2­