By Burt Rose
On August 9, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit granted a new trial in United States vs Terrell Davis, Appellant, 2013 WL 4035547, # 12–1486, holding that a defendant’s two prior convictions for possession of cocaine were not admissible at a trial sur Rule 404(b) where he was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Importantly, the error was not harmless even though the District Court provided a limiting instruction in its final jury charge, as “No instruction could have eliminated the infirmity at the heart of this case”.
The Panel was composed of Judges McKee, Greenaway and Smith, who wrote the Opinion. There was no dissent. The District Court judge was Judge R. Barclay Surrick.
Attorneys Christopher Furlong and Mark Cedrone represented the Appellant.