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Name: People v. Eroshevich et al.
Case #: S210545
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 11/03/2014
Summary

Where appellate court reversed trial court’s order granting new trial based on insufficiency of the evidence, double jeopardy principles do not bar retrial if, on remand, the trial court grants the new trial motion on grounds other than insufficiency of the evidence. Defendants Eroshevich and Stern were convicted of conspiring to obtain controlled substances by fraud and providing false names for prescriptions in connection with the death of Anna Nicole Smith. The trial court granted Stern’s motion for a new trial and dismissed the charges against both defendants based on insufficiency of the evidence. The appellate court reversed and reinstated the jury verdicts, but ordered the trial court to consider Stern’s other grounds for a new trial on remand. The court also held that double jeopardy precluded Stern from being retried. The California Supreme Court granted the People’s petition for review on the double jeopardy issue. Held: Reversed. The protection against double jeopardy generally precludes retrial for the same offense after a conviction or an acquittal. A defendant may waive his double jeopardy protection by filing a motion for new trial because, in doing so, the defendant effectively agrees to all consequences following the motion and consents to being tried anew. A defendant may not be retied, however, if a new trial motion is granted based on insufficiency of the evidence. But double jeopardy principles do not preclude the People from appealing such a ruling because reversal would result in reinstatement of the jury verdict, not a new trial. Here, Stern impliedly waived double jeopardy protections and consented to a retrial by filing a motion for a new trial. Although the trial court granted Stern’s new trial motion based on insufficiency of the evidence, this ruling was reversed on appeal and the jury verdict was reinstated. Under these circumstances, Stern can be retried if, on remand, the trial court grants his new trial motion on grounds other than insufficiency of the evidence.