Michael Maupin v.Commonwealth, 16-SC-448-DG (rendered 3/22/18)(to be published).
Mr. Maupin was convicted of failure to register a change in address with the sex offender registry, KRS 17.510, and PFO first degree, and received a ten year sentence. Throughout the trial, the trial court observed the evidence for the Commonwealth was scant, but declined to grant the directed verdict motions. After conviction, the defense filed a motion for judgment of acquittal notwithstanding the jury verdict, and the trial court granted the motion. The Commonwealth appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, and reinstated the judgment of conviction and sentence.
The Supreme Court granted Mr. Maupin’s motion for discretionary review, and ultimately held the Commonwealth could not appeal from a trial court’s judgment of acquittal following a jury verdict of guilt, thus overruling Commonwealth v. Brindley, 724 S.W.2d 214 (Ky. 1986). Section 115 of the Ky. Constitution clearly states “the Commonwealth may not appeal from a judgment of acquittal in a criminal case, other than for the purpose of securing a certification of law.”
The Court specifically announced, “We hold that Section 115 of the Kentucky Constitution bars.the Commonwealth from appealing a judgment of acquittal, and so we need not
reach the merits of this case. We reverse the Court of Appeals and reinstate the trial court's judgment. We also overrule any precedent stating that Section 115 derives itself from Section 13 of the Kentucky Constitution and that the Commonwealth may appeal a judgment n.o.v.”
Carliss Hall v. Comm., Affirming in part, Reversing in Part, KSC, To-be-published (3/22/2018):
Hall was convicted at trial of (among other crimes) theft over $500 for grabbing a police cruiser to get away from police who were chasing him from a WalMart, and then leaving it in the middle of the road at an abandoned strip mine. On appeal, the Kentucky Supreme Court dismissed Hall’s conviction and sentence for stealing the police cruiser, finding that he did not “intend to deprive” the police of their cruiser permanently. The Court also reversed Hall’s conviction for resisting arrest due to a non-unanimous verdict and threw out an illegal $50 fine.
Susan Balliet represented Hall on appeal, Frank Riley preserved the police cruiser issue at trial.