Judge orders acquittal in Joseph Carter trial
KINGMAN — A key mistake by the prosecutor prompted Mohave County Superior Court judge Rick Lambert to order direct verdicts of acquittal in the trial of a Mohave Valley man.
Joseph Carter, 52, faced a possible lengthy prison sentence had he been convicted of possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia and two misconduct involving weapons charges.
The trial opened in Kingman on Tuesday and deputy Mohave County Attorney Jaimye Ashley rested hear case early Wednesday afternoon. In what is known as a Rule 20 motion, defense attorney Melissa Barry asked Judge Lambert to order direct verdicts of acquittal on the basis that the state had failed to meet the necessary burden of proof.
Lambert declined to do soon the basis of Barry’s motion but the court directed its own verdicts of acquittal on all counts. Lambert said the state’s case was fatally flawed because Ashley failed to have any of five witnesses identify the defendant in Court.
Jurors were excused before deliberations began.
Carter was returned to the custody of the sheriff’s office and the jail because he faces prosecution in three other criminal cases.
Carter is charged with possession of dangerous drugs for sale in one case, theft of means of transportation in another and unlawful flight in the third case.