Despite a positive drug test, the Navy-Marine Appellate Court overturns my client’s drug conviction!
On 30 April 2013, after hearing my argument, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals set aside the findings and sentence in OS1 James Rose’s case. OS1 Rose was convicted in 2010 at a court-martial for using cocaine based solely on a positive drug test. At that time he had served for 19 years and had a completely clean record. During his court-martial, OS1 Rose testified that he had not used cocaine and many servicemembers testified as to his great character. No one had witnessed OS1 Rose use cocaine and as his defense counsel at his court-martial, I argued that if he had used cocaine it had to have been an unknowing ingestion at a bar. The only evidence used against my client during his original court-martial was the positive drug paperwork created by the drug lab, testimony from those who administered the test to him and testimony from an expert witness to explain the paperwork. During his court-martial, I objected to the admission of sections of the drug paperwork due to the fact that it was inadmissible “testimonial hearsay.” When my objections were overruled during the court-martial, I was careful to preserve the issue so that I could later appeal on OS1 Rose’s behalf. On appeal, I again argued that sections of the paperwork used by the Government in the court-martial were pieces of “testimonial hearsay” and that the judge erred in admitting them over my objection. The appellate court agreed with me. The court then determined that this error prejudiced my client because the expert witness called to testify relied on the improper evidence several times during his testimony. Because there was absolutely no other evidence against OS1 Rose and because I had been careful to preserve the issue for appeal, the court-martial findings and sentence were set aside. I have a ton of experience with court-martials and court-martial appeals. I know which arguments have merit and which do not. I also know what steps to take at the court-martial level to preserve certain issues for appeal. You need me on your side. To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free c0nsultation.