Amaya’s first trial began in October 2011. Before trial, the district court partially granted Amaya’s motion in limine, ruling that “witnesses will not be allowed to opine that the defendant is a ‘drug dealer.’” Due to a “docketing snafu,” the parties did not receive the sealed order, which was emailed, rather than posted publicly on CM/ECF. The parties learned of the order at a pretrial conference the first day of trial. The government’s first witness, DEA Special Agent David Jensen, testified:
GOVERNMENT: Very broadly, how did that investigation begin?
SPECIAL AGENT JENSEN: Well, we received information about a cash seizure on the interstate. We also received information from the Kansas City Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms also known as the ATF about a drug dealer in Sioux City named Angel Amaya.
The court instructed the jury to disregard the statement. Amaya moved for a mistrial. The government opposed. The court declared a mistrial.
Judge(s): William D. Benton
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Related Categories: Constitutional Law , Criminal Justice , Government / Politics
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