Muskegon Teen Granted New Trial After Court Didn’t Properly Instruct Jury

Original Case Details

A teenage man from Muskegon has been given a second chance by the Michigan Court of Appeals. Carvin Bailey was convicted by a jury back in 2018 of assault with intent to do great body harm, as well as felony firearm. Bailey was sentenced to prison, where he currently resides. The Michigan Court of Appeals, however, has recently ruled to give him a new trial. The Court found that the trial judge did not properly instruct the jury on self-defense when before they started deliberations. Bailey shot another teen who had been harassing him, threatened him, and showed up to his house where a confrontation occurred. There were allegedly several witnesses who watched the men confront each other. Bailey claimed self-defense, but the judge only gave the self-defense instruction for one of his charges, failing to instruct that self-defense also applied to other counts. Bailey was convicted and sentenced to a 3-year minimum prison sentence, which had a consecutive 2-year prison sentence tacked on for the felony firearm charge.

The maximum Bailey can face is 12 years in prison for these convictions. His maximum sentence on his assault charge is 10 years, plus an extra two years added on to whenever he is paroled on his assault charge. Once Bailey serves his minimum three-year sentence, he will then be eligible for parole where he will either be released, or “flopped” for another year before going in front of the parole board again. He will again either be released or flopped and will continue this cycle each year until he is either paroled or serves the maximum of his sentence. A felony firearm conviction simply adds two years to any prison sentence. If you are sentenced to probation for a felony, but get convicted of felony firearm, then you will spend two years in prison for the felony firearm conviction.

The Court’s Mistake

The trial judge failing to properly instruct the jury is what the Michigan Court of Appeals has stated as their reason for granting Bailey a new trial. Bailey remains incarcerated on a $100,000 cash bond. His attorney asked the court to reduce the bond in light of the granting of a new trial, but the judge denied and kept the bond the same. There are a variety of mistakes that can be made at trial that might seem harmless at the time but can really make a huge difference in what the outcome of a trial is.

What Happens Next?

Bailey now gets a do over. He will have the opportunity to go back to the pretrial phase of his case. This is where Bailey has the opportunity to work out some sort of deal or go back to trial to fight for his innocence. It is possible that Bailey could actually be released on parole before he ends up back at trial. The court scheduling and availability of witnesses will be crucial to the timing of when Bailey gets his day in court again. It is likely that Bailey will continue to claim self-defense if he continues to trial. If he claims self-defense, then the prosecutor has the added burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Bailey’s actions were NOT in self-defense. The self-defense instruction is one of the most powerful jury instructions the defense has, Bailey was denied this instruction after properly claiming self-defense at his first trial.

Any Further Questions?

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime or being investigated for one, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Grabel & Associates, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending criminal cases all over the state of Michigan. This experience extends not only to adult cases, but also to juvenile charges. We are not a general practice firm. We are a team of criminal defense attorneys; it’s all we do. We offer a FREE consultation to anyone with questions relating to a possible or existing criminal charge against them or a loved one. Feel free to contact us on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can also contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide locations. We can also come to you.

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