S-12-0777, State (Cross-Appellant) v. John Blake Edwards (Appellant)
Keith County, Judge James E. Doyle, IV
Attorneys: Clarence Mock, Denise Frost (Appellant) --- James D. Smith (Attorney General’s Office)
Criminal: Theft, value greater than $1500
Proceedings below: A jury found Appellant not guilty of Counts I and II of theft, greater than $1500 but found him guilty on Count III. He was sentenced to a term of probation.
Issues: l. The district court's "entrapment by estoppel" instruction erroneously allocated the burden of proof to Edwards. 2. The district court erred by allowing the district court clerk to divide the jury panel into two distinct groups for jury selection thereby depriving Edwards of his right to select prospective jurors from the panel as a whole. 3. The district court erred in failing to disqualify the Nebraska Attorney General's office from prosecuting Edwards. 4. The trial court erred in refusing to allow testimony from members of the Keith County Board of Commissioners regarding use of pretrial diversion funds. 5. The trial court erred in refusing to allow Edwards to introduce evidence about the working structures of other diversion programs. 6. The trial court erred in admitting evidence of joint income tax return information filed by Edwards and his spouse. 7. The district court erred in failing to give the jury a limiting instruction regarding the admissible purpose for evidence related to the income tax returns of Edwards and his spouse.
Cross-Appeal: The sentence imposed was excessively lenient.