United States v. Parker, 052113 FED9, 12-10264

Docket Nº:12-10264
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. FREDERICK PARKER, Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before: W. FLETCHER, GOULD, and CHRISTEN, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:May 21, 2013
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,


FREDERICK PARKER, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 12-10264

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

May 21, 2013


Argued and Submitted May 10, 2013 San Francisco, California

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona David C. Bury, District Judge, Presiding D.C. No. 4:11-cr-02230-DCB-JJM-3

Before: W. FLETCHER, GOULD, and CHRISTEN, Circuit Judges.


Defendant-Appellant Frederick Parker appeals his conviction for conspiracy to possess a destructive device in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 and 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d) and possession of a destructive device in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d). He contends that the district court abused its discretion by denying his motion to sever his trial from that of his co-defendant. Parker's co-defendant was charged with drug-trafficking and firearm crimes in addition to being charged with the same crimes as Parker.

We hold that the district court did not abuse its discretion because the joint trial was not "so manifestly prejudicial as to require the trial judge to exercise his discretion in but one way, by ordering a separate trial." United States v. Sullivan, 522 F.3d 967, 981 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting United States v. Decoud, 456 F.3d 996, 1008 (9th Cir. 2006)). The most important factors in determining whether there was manifest prejudice "are whether the jury can compartmentalize the evidence against each defendant and the judge's diligence in providing evidentiary instructions to the jury." Sullivan, 522 F.3d at 981–82.

Parker was convicted based on evidence of his involvement in firebombing a house thought to belong to a person involved in an attempted drug deal with some Mexican Mafia members. Parker got involved in the firebombing because he was living with a Mexican Mafia member. Parker was tried with a Mexican Mafia leader named Alcantar. Two Mexican Mafia members testified for the government against Alcantar and Parker, both of whom were involved in tossing gasoline-filled bottles at the home.

Here, the jury was able to compartmentalize the evidence, as shown by "its failure to convict all defendants on all counts." Id. at 982 (citation omitted). The jury acquitted Parker's co-defendant on two charges. This selective verdict shows that the jury considered the evidence on each charge in...

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