SADO and MAACS Roster Attorneys to Argue in Michigan Supreme Court

Oral Arguments October 6 & 7, 2021
SADO's Steven Helton, Jackie McCann, Michael Mittelstat, and Christine Pagac, and MAACS roster attorney Alona Sharon will argue before the Michigan Supreme Court on issues including expert funds, double jeopardy, and the admission of co-defendant statements.

Steven Helton - People v Robert Lance Propp, MSC No. 160551

•    Expert Funds/MCL 768.27b Evidence

The Court directed the parties to address: 1) whether the Court of Appeals correctly applied People v Kennedy, 502 Mich 206 (2018), when it affirmed the trial court’s decision to deny the defendant’s motion for expert funding; and (2) whether the Court of Appeals correctly held that evidence of other acts of domestic violence is admissible under MCL 768.27b regardless of whether it might be otherwise inadmissible under the hearsay rules of evidence. The case is set for argument on October 6, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. Briefs here.

Christine Pagac - People v James Curtis Beck, MSC No. 160669

•    Retrial/Double Jeopardy

The Court directed the parties to address: (1) whether the defendant’s retrial in Docket No. 2016-000309-FH was barred by the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the federal or state constitutions, US Const, Am V; Const 1963, art 1, § 15; (2) if so, whether vacating his convictions in that case would also warrant a new trial, resentencing, or any other remedy in the jointly tried case, Docket No. 2017-001376-FC; and (3) whether the trial court improperly imposed a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for an act of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (Count II) that was not charged as carrying such a minimum. See Alleyne v United States, 570 US 99, 109-111 (2013); Apprendi v New Jersey, 530 US 466, 476, 478-479 (2000). The case is set for argument on October 6, 2021, at 1:40 p.m. Briefs here.  

Jacqueline McCann - People v Theodore Paul Wafer, MSC No. 153828

•    Double Jeopardy

The Court directed the parties to address whether the defendant’s convictions for second-degree murder, MCL 750.317, and statutory manslaughter, MCL 750.329(1), violate constitutional prohibitions against double jeopardy. See People v Miller, 498 Mich 13 (2015). The case is set for argument on October 7, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. Briefs here.  

Michael Mittelstat - People v Joel Eusevio Davis, MSC No. 160775

•    Double Jeopardy

The Court directed the parties to address (1) whether the defendant’s convictions under MCL 750.81a(3) and MCL 750.84 violate constitutional prohibitions against double jeopardy, see People v Miller, 498 Mich 13 (2015); and (2) if so, whether the defendant is entitled to relief. See People v Carines, 460 Mich 750 (1999). The case is set for argument on October 7, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Briefs here.

Alona Sharon
- People v Rodney Jamar McKee, MSC No. 157646 (COA No. 333720)/People v Clifford Durrell McKee, MSC No. 157581

•    Admission of Codefendant’s Statement

The Court directed the parties in these combined cases to address whether the trial court erred in failing to grant the appellants’ motion for a mistrial because their substantial rights were impaired by the admission of a codefendant’s statement to the police. See Zafiro v United States, 506 US 534, 539 (1993), and People v Hana, 447 Mich 325, 345-346 (1994). The case is set for argument on October 7, 2021, at 11:30 a.m. Briefs here.

Watch live streaming arguments here.