Prosecution Stunned by Acquittal in Meth Case

methby Antoinnette Borbon

It was one of short deliberations in what seemed like a strong case for Deputy District Attorney, Michael Vroman.

YONET Agent, Gary Richter would give expert testimony in the case against defendant, Jorge Magadna. Richter, a seasoned agent, was lead investigator in the undercover survelliance work in building the case.

Richter in testimony, stated,”I found no indicia of defendant being a Meth user.” Richter says the 19 Grams of Methaphetimine were placed in four separate bags indicating they had been weighed out for the purpose of sales. He says there were no visible signs of the defendant being an addict or under the influence when he interviewed him.

Richter stated it was not the first time contact was made with Magadna.

But defense contented the defendant was not the only one living at the defendants residence. Teal Dixon stated in closing that there had been other people coming in and out.

Richter stated he found the drugs in the room of Magadna and items near the drugs indicating they belonged to him.

Jurors were not convinced of ownership and settled on an aquittal.

However, Magadna is not free to get out of jail just yet. He has pending violations to answer to.

EARLIER STORY:

Closing Arguments in Meth Case

By Justine Joya

On the afternoon of April 23, both parties in the Jorge Magana case met before Judge Mock to present their closing arguments. Deputy District Attorney Michael Vroman presented his argument first, by explicitly stating to the panel of jurors that Jorge Magana was guilty on the charge of possession of drugs with the intent to sell. Deputy Public Defender Teal Dixon followed up the prosecutor’s claim with arguments that poked holes in the evidence that he based his assertion on.

Before beginning his final arguments against Magana, Mr. Vroman made it clear to the jurors that if they believed the defendant fell into one of the three categories of either aiding and abetting the crime, being a co-conspirator of the alleged offense, or being the perpetrator, then the defendant would be found guilty on the charge of possession and intent to sell.

Keeping this notion fresh in jurors’ mind, he explained in great detail how and why all evidence pointed to the conviction of Jorge Magana. He argued that not only was the amount of methamphetamine discovered by the police excessive for someone who was just simply using, but that there was no paraphernalia found in the defendant’s home that would suggest the recreational use of methamphetamine.

The prosecutor also noted that the drugs were precisely divided up into commonly distributed doses and that the defendant was carrying over $500 on his person. Upon the arrest of Magana, Agent Diaz, who participated in the raid, overheard the defendant tell his father in Spanish to claim the drugs as his own; however, in his court testimony the defendant’s father stated that the drugs were not his.

All in all, the prosecutor illustrated to the court that the defendant was aware of the drugs’ presence, understood the nature of the drugs, and had possession of the substance in a significant quantity, proving his initial claim that beyond a reasonable doubt Jorge Magana was guilty of possession with intent to sell.

Specifically targeting the prosecutor’s claim of “possession,” Ms. Dixon opened her argument by defining the meaning of possession in terms of her father’s gun when she was growing up. She stated that, although she resided in the same house that the gun was concealed in, she did not hold possession over it because she did not have the right to control it.

Relating back to her client’s case, the drugs were found in the same household her defendant resided in, but this did not directly prove that they were under his possession. She then went on to state that numerous people were in and out of that same house and could have had access to the methamphetamine.

In regard to the money found on the defendant, she asserted that the money was not proved to be illegally obtained through the selling of methamphetamine, and could have been a result of the recent Christmas holiday that preceded the day of the arrest.

Before concluding her discussion, she reiterated to the jury that her client could only be convicted if and only if there remained no other reasonable explanations.

Judge Mock ordered the court adjourned and the jury was dismissed to deliberate.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch puts 8 to 12 interns into the Yolo County House to monitor and report on what happens. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org

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5 Comments

  1. Antoinnette

    A lot more to it than just having cash…..but I would expext this reaction from some….but sometimes the ol saying of,”if it walks and talks like a duck, chances atd it is just that,” 。

  2. tj

    Interesting loss for the DA’s office.
    The reporting would be easier to read if the tense didn’t vary: e.g.,
    “Richter in testimony, stated…………… Richter says the 19 gms.”
    “Richter testified” would be less wordy.

  3. D.D.

    I’m trying to use my atm card less often, due to the fees and identity theft. I carry cash; that should not be an indication of possible meth dealing. Weak.

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