Brief Fact Summary. The defendant, Beasley (the “defendant”), was convicted of seven counts of obtaining Dilaudid with an intent to distribute, and two counts of attempting to obtain Dilaudid by misrepresenting the name of the person to appear on the prescription.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The fact that other similar bad acts came after crimes charged in an indictment does not preclude their use as part of pattern to show intent.
When the jury instructions, taken together, accurately express the law applicable to the case without confusing or prejudicing the jury, there is no reason for reversal even though isolated clauses may, in fact, be confusing, technically imperfect, or otherwise subject to criticism.View Full Point of Law
Whether the District Judge’s admission of evidence, that the defendant had previously gone “shopping for doctors” in other states is admissible as patterns of similar acts evidence?
Patterns of similar acts may show intent, just as they may show identity. Intent was an issue here. The defendant testified that he bought the drugs to conduct experiments, fed the drugs to his plants, and never distributed drugs to anyone. So, although the episodes of “shopping for doctors” were relevant to show intent, they also had a potential for “unfair prejudice.”
Discussion. The many bad acts that the defendant was accused of during trial were not similar in the sense of demonstrating a modus operandi. None of the other bad acts the defendant was charged with involved duping a physician into making drugs available for experiments. The episodes of shopping for doctors were similar to each other, but not to the crimes of which the defendant was accused. In other words, the defendant’s providing of Valium and codeine to his associates is not like the fraudulent acquisition of Dilaudid.