United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. Bunning United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court upon Defendant Jason Helton's
Motion to Set Aside Verdict of Guilty [Docket No. 60]. The
United States having responded to the motion [Docket No. 62],
no reply having been filed, and the time for filing a reply
having long expired, the motion is ripe for review. For the
reasons set forth herein, the Court finds there is no valid
ground upon which to set aside the verdict of guilty and
will, therefore, deny the motion.
Factual and Procedural History
February 23, 2017, a grand jury returned a two-count
indictment, charging Jason Helton with violations of 18
U.S.C. § 1001 and 641. Specifically, it was alleged that
beginning in July of 2014 and continuing until April of 2016,
Helton knowingly and willfully made and used a false writing
and document to the Internal Revenue Service, by falsely
reported that he performed work that he did not actually
perform and incurred work-related expenses that he did not
actually incur. It was further alleged that during the time
stated in the indictment, Helton willfully and knowingly
received, concealed, retained and intended to convert stolen
property of the United States, in an amount exceeding $1,
jury trial began on August 14, 2017. After almost four full
days of testimony, on August 17, 2017, the jury was
instructed and began deliberations shortly after noon. At
4:25 p.m., the Court was advised by a Court Security Officer
that the jury had reached its verdict. [Transcript of Jury
Verdict, Docket No. 57, p. 2, l. 2-5]. The jury entered the
courtroom at 4:49 p.m., and the undersigned published the
verdict of guilty on both counts. Id., p. 3, l.
Court then inquired if either party desired a poll of the
jury. Id. Defense counsel requested a poll of the
jury. The Clerk proceeded to poll the twelve jurors, while
they remained seated in the jury box. After polling Jurors
341, 255, 268, 337, 279 and 285, the Clerk polled Juror 306
and the following transpired:
DEPUTY CLERK: Juror Number 306, is that your verdict?
THE COURT: 306?
JUROR NO. 306: Yeah, kind of.
Id., p. 4, l. 10-13 (emphasis added).
The undersigned, admittedly taken by surprise, inquired:
THE COURT: Sir? Did you vote unanimously with both of these