Brittany R. Falconer, a 22-year-old former New Mexico woman convicted on 30 charges related to a South Side Saginaw murder plot in 2010, will continue to serve out her sentence of 22 to 47 years in prison after the Michigan Court of Appeals determined that a jury did not err in deciding that Falconer was not acting under duress during the incident.
Some of the charges prosecutors brought against Falconer include two counts of armed robbery, conspiring to commit armed robbery, torture, and carjacking. Falconer was also charged with conspiring to commit first-degree murder, however she was acquitted by a jury on that charge and three others.
In the 2010 plot, Dion Smith was apparently a victim of mistaken identity; two others who were involved with Falconer, Glenn Jett Jr. and Donald Anderson, burst from the back of a home where Falconer and Smith were; Falconer had allegedly invited Smith over for breakfast, which was a code to let Smith know to come over to see Falconer, who he had met the day before when he was outside his home with a 1975 burnt orange Chevrolet Impala. Falconer told Smith of her love for cars, and the two reportedly went for a ride and drank champagne.
After Anderson and Jett appeared from the back of the home to where Falconer had taken her shirt off, Smith was ordered into the bathroom where he was beaten and bound with zip ties, then threatened. The two men realized then that Smith was not the man they were looking for. They then decided to take his car, so he gave them the keys, according to Smith’s testimony.
Asa Smith, Dion Smith’s wife, and their two teen sons were assaulted and their home ransacked in the incident. Falconer testified that Glenn Jett Jr., who was her boyfriend at the time, threatened her to participate in Jett’s and Anderson’s plot, with Dion Smith as the intended victim.
The Michigan appeals court judges found that the evidence presented to the jury which led to Falconer being found guilty of voluntarily participating in the plot was sufficient. Dion Smith and his wife both testified in court that they believed Falconer was a willing participant in the plot.
In essence, Falconer’s role in the plot was one of seduction, and getting Smith to the home so that the two men could kill him; they then realized they had the wrong man.
Michigan criminal appeals attorneys know that having a conviction overturned is not an easy feat, and that success can never be guaranteed. However, there are situations in which errors are made in the legal system, and times when innocent people are kept behind bars for years.
If you have been wrongly convicted of a crime, it is critical that you choose a capable Michigan criminal appeals lawyer with a positive track record and extensive experience in this complex area of the law.