Wednesday, March 13, 2013

KY SC - Acosta - Insufficient Evidence

Samantha Monahan Acosta v. Com., 2010-SC-97-DG, Kentucky Supreme Court, 

Ten year sentence. Reversed and remanded for new trial. The jury instruction under which Acosta was found guilty of first-degree criminal under KRS 508.100. abuse was not supported by substantial evidence. This was unpreserved, palpable error

The evidence showed only that the defendant, as the child’s mother and caregiver, had the opportunity to abuse her child.  Since the Commonwealth’s proof was sufficient under at least one theory of first-degree criminal abuse (knowingly allowing another to commit the abuse), Acosta may be re-tried under the alternate theory.

Contributed by Erin Yang