Howard Hill Anderson v. Commonwealth, 14-SC-153-MR (rendered 10/29/15) (not to be published).
The Court ordered a new trial in Mr. Anderson’s case due to a non-unanimous jury instruction on manufacturing methamphetamine. Mr. Anderson was indicted for manufacturing methamphetamine at his home due to the possession of two or more chemicals or two or more items of equipment.
The trial court had allowed his alleged participation in an earlier manufacture [Drury incident] to be admitted as a prior bad act. The court used a combination jury instruction that allowed Mr. Anderson to be convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine by the making of methamphetamine or by the possession of two or more chemicals or two or more items of equipment. In closing argument, the prosecutor argued to the jury they could convict Mr. Anderson for manufacturing methamphetamine at his home or the Drury incident.
As the Court stated, “Up until this point in the trial, the combination jury instruction employed by the trial court in this case did not present a potential unanimous verdict problem. However, after the June 30 event was recast as a possible corpus delicti of the crime charged in the jury instructions, under the jury instruction and verdict form provided, some jurors could have believed Appellant was guilty of manufacturing methamphetamine by making meth at Drury's on June 30, while other jurors believed Appellant was guilty of manufacturing methamphetamine only because he possessed at his home on July 1 two or more of the chemicals or items of equipment needed for making meth. The creation of this possibility runs afoul of our well-delineated unanimous verdict rules.”
David Curlin of the Henderson office represented Mr. Anderson before the McLean Circuit Court, and Emily Rhorer represented him on direct appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court.