The attorney for Christopher Williams filed a motion Friday seeking an acquittal or at least a new trial for his client, saying U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen erred when giving the jury instructions in the only medical marijuana case in Montana to go to trial.
The 12-member jury convicted Williams in Helena on Sept. 27 on eight counts, including conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana; manufacture of marijuana; possession with intent to distribute marijuana; and four counts of possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense. Since the firearm offenses carry a mandatory minimum of five years to life imprisonment, plus mandatory minimums of 25 years for second and subsequent convictions, Williams could be facing a minimum of 80 years in prison.
His attorney, Michael Donahoe, plans to file an appeal of the conviction, and also is expected to file a motion to get Williams out of jail until a ruling is made on the appeal. In the meantime, he filed the motions for acquittal on three grounds.
The first motion involves the conspiracy count.
“Under the law as defendant understands it, the government had to prove the conspiracy it alleged and not some other conspiracy,” Donahoe writes. “Here the government alleged a conspiracy that dated back to January 2006. However, in instructing the jury on Count I, the court told the jury to disregard and not consider any evidence of events occurring prior to March of 2009.”
– Read the entire article at Independent Record.