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US v. Barrera, No. 09-3873

By FindLaw Staff on January 11, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Assault Conviction Affirmed

In US v. Barrera, No. 09-3873, the court affirmed defendant's assault conviction where 1) even if some jurors understood a witness's comment to refer to something that happened during defendant's and the witness's past relationship, there was no reason for them to suspect that defendant had physically abused the witness; and 2) the combined strength of the government's testimony made defendant's contention that he did not cause Apodaca's serious bodily injury implausible.


As the court wrote:  "In the early morning of December 6, 2007, Ernest Apodaca, Warren Hunter LaPointe ("Mr.LaPointe"), and Tracy LaPointe ("Ms.LaPointe")-Apodaca's girlfriend and Barrera's former girlfriend-drove to Rosebud, South Dakota, located on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, after an evening of drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. Apodaca, Mr. LaPointe, and Ms. LaPointe were parked outside the home of Ms. LaPointe's uncle when Barrera and George Casey Schmidt, who also had spent the evening consuming alcohol and smoking marijuana, pulled up beside them."

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