Attorney Allain Marain

Criminal Defense Lawyers - Trial Transcript 2 (Part 1)

Superior Court of New Jersey
Criminal Division - Middlesex County
Indictment No. I-139-01-98

State of New Jersey, Complainant, vs. Transcript of Proceedings Excerpts Betty Riles, Defendant.

Place: Middlesex County Courthouse
One Kennedy Square
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Date: March 25, 1999


Honorable Frederick P. De Vesa, J.S.C., and a Jury
Transcript Ordered by: Allan Marain, Esq.


Raymond Storch, Esq.
Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor
Attorney for the State
Allan Marain, Esq.
Attorney for the Defendant
Kathleen Sperduto, C.S.R., R.M.R.
Official Court Reporter
Middlesex County Courthouse
One Kennedy Square
New Brunswick, New Jersey

  1. State Witnesses Direct Cross Redirect Recross
  2. Ronald Dixon
    By Mr. Storch 3
    By Mr. Marain 14
  3. Page
    By Mr. Marain 29
Dixon - Direct 3
  1. (The following is an excerpt.)
  2. (Ronald Dixon testified as follows.)
  3. MR. STORCH: Yes. Lieutenant Ronald Dixon.
  4. R O N A L D D I X O N, called as a witness on behalf of the State, being duly sworn, testifies as follows:
  6. Q - Good morning, Lieutenant Dixon?
  7. A - Good morning.
  8. Q - Mr. Dixon, where are you employed and in what capacity?
  9. A - I'm a county lieutenant with the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.
  10. Q - And how long have you been so employed there?
  11. A - By the Prosecutor's Office since December 5th of 1975.
  12. Q - I see. Do you have any specialized training in the field of narcotics investigation?
  13. A - Yes, I do.
  14. Q - Could you tell us?
  15. A - Well, in addition to basic police academy and yearly schools put on by the New Jersey Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association I've also attended the twelve week United States Department of Justice Drug ...
Dixon - Direct 4
  1. ... Enforcement Administration Academy in Washington, D. C., I've attended the fourteen week Federal Bureau of Investigation or the F. B. I. National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. I've attended various seminars put on by members of the Justice Department either in-service training or at various sites throughout the United States. I'm past president of the National Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association and was president for three years and served on the board for approximately eight years, and during that tenure I established, attended and coordinated training seminars throughout the United States for local law enforcement officers in the field of narcotics. I've a member of National -- of the New Jersey Narcotics Enforcement Association. I'm a lifetime member currently on the board of directors. I arrange for training, on a bi-monthly basis throughout the United States and one yearly training seminar. I'm also a member of the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association. I'm currently an OSHA and State as well as government certified clandestine laboratory investigator and hold a position of lab site safety officer and am responsible for the safety of other officers during the ...
Dixon - Direct 5
  1. ... investigation and dismantling of clandestine laboratories. I am part of the Justice Department's clandestine laboratory team here in the northeast. I have instructed on behalf of the United States government in Asia, Central America, and I've worked in Europe again for the Drug Enforcement Administration. Of my -- prior to being employed by the Prosecutor's Office I was a detective with the Edison Township Police Department for a period of eight years, which is a total of thirty-one years of law enforcement experience, and of those thirty-one years twenty-nine of it has been strictly with narcotic enforcement. Again, a state certified instructor here in the state of New Jersey. I instruct at all the police academies in all locations throughout New Jersey, and most recently as yesterday afternoon I was conducting a class for a hundred and five officers at our police academy here in Middlesex County.
  2. Q - Thank you, officer. You participated in narcotics arrests?
  3. A - Numerous, numerous times. My assignment with the Edison Township Police Department after several years as a patrol officer I was assigned to the Narcotics Bureau. Once I was assigned to the Edison Narcotic ...
Dixon - Direct 6
  1. ... Bureau they assigned me to the Middlesex County Narcotic Task Force. Eventually I was hired by the Prosecutor's Office, assigned to that Task Force. Middlesex County in turn assigned me to the United States Department of Justice for a period of about thirteen years. I was assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration's Worldwide Task Force.
  2. Q - So how many actual investigations?
  3. A - I've been involved with thousands and thousands of investigations.
  4. Q - Did you ever testify in court as a police drug -- police narcotics expert?
  5. A - Yes. I have. I have been recognized by Municipal Courts in the state, the State Superior Courts in New Jersey, and I've also testified for the government in federal proceedings both within New Jersey courts and nation-wide courts where the cases have led us to.
  6. MR. STORCH: Your Honor, I would ask that Lieutenant Dixon be recognized as a police narcotics expert.
  7. THE COURT: Mr. Marain.
  8. MR. MARAIN: I think the witness satisfies at least the minimal requirements, your Honor.
  9. (Laughter.)
  10. Q - Okay. Lieutenant Dixon, I am going to give ...
Dixon - Direct 7
  1. ... you a hypothetical. That's all right. The jury --
  2. THE COURT: Mr. Storch, I really should rule on the issue.
  3. MR. STORCH: Oh, I'm sorry.
  4. THE COURT: I'm satisfied from hearing Lieutenant Dixon's credentials and based upon the consent of the defendant that he is qualified to testify here as an expert in the field of narcotics investigation. Go ahead, Mr. Storch.
  5. MR. STORCH: Sorry, your Honor.
  6. THE COURT: That's all right.
  7. Q - Lieutenant Dixon, we've been told hypothetically that on December 4th, 1997 on a street in New Brunswick which consisted of abandoned buildings about 11:30 in the morning observations were made of about -- there were eight, ten -- ten people there and there were some people were fixing cars. The observation was made that a person named Tanya was seen making a sale to another woman, some kind of a substance and money was passed and Tanya after the sale brought the money to a woman sitting in a car. At that point the woman sitting in the car counted out four what the officer described as narcotic packets and gave it to the woman Tanya. ...
Dixon - Direct 8
  1. ... The woman Tanya then went back into the street and made another sale. At the time of that sale she took the money but then she went back to the woman in the car and obviously needed some kind of change. The woman in the car tried to get something out of her pocket, got out of the car, took money out of her, gave some money to Tanya and then Tanya went back to the second buyee. Are you with me?
  2. A - Mm-hmm.
  3. Q - Police then came into the area. Tanya was arrested with two decks of heroin were found where she dropped it on her feet and one deck was found in her pocket. This second buyee, the man they had to get the change for, the man, he when the police came up spilled the heroin on the ground and they just got a bag. When Tanya was arrested she was brought to headquarters and mirandized and she mentioned that the woman in the car, she was working for the woman in the car selling heroin. Now, based on that -- those facts can you form an opinion as to whether the woman sitting in the car possessed narcotics with the intent to distribute?
  4. A - Yes, I can.
  5. Q - Okay. What would that be -- what would that opinion be?
Dixon - Direct 9
  1. A - Well, it would be based on, to begin with, the officer's observations himself and the fact that the individual sitting in the vehicle was observed by the officer providing I believe in the hypothetical four packages of a controlled substance to the individual. That in itself is distribution. If the officer saw A hand to B a quantity of controlled substances that would be distribution just based on that. The fact that the -- one individual I think you referred to as Tanya, we will just say A, lady A, was on the street corner or on the street, people were approaching her and -- or at least two people in this hypothetical approached her and an exchange for product for money took place. Even an exchange of change took place is consistent with drug distribution. I mean the fact that you have drugs for sale looking for people to distribute it to. You -- I've never seen anyone take credit cards. So it is going to be a cash and carry bills. I mean they are going to exchange cash for the product. So not every time you are going to go up with the proper change. A bag, I don't know the weights of the drugs, they were not in the hypothetical, but a common amount or pricing for drugs on the street in New Brunswick is twenty, twenty-five dollars, but again you negotiate that ...
Dixon - Direct 10
  1. ... price. I may negotiate a twenty dollar purchase down to eighteen dollars. I may-have a twenty dollar bill.
  2. Q - May I just add one more fact? The woman in the car on arrest had a hundred and twenty-four dollars in her possession also?
  3. A - So we have again you have drugs and you have money which are two common factors together and you have the of the officer.
  4. Q - Okay?
  5. A - Another factor that take into position with possession with intent is the actual statement by woman
  6. A - Tanya that she was working for the second individual in that vehicle. Her own admission was that she was working for. What was described in the hypothetical is common. I mean two people working together distributing drugs on the street. The person would be outside the car is actually taking a lot of the risk if law enforcement should just drive by, a uniform car could stop her, find money on her, whatever. So she is taking more of a risk. But the person in the car would be holding the bulk of the product and the bulk of the money to eliminate any loss that may occur. So it is common for two people to work together. It is not uncommon.
  7. Q - Okay. In another hypothetical when -- when ...
Dixon - Direct 11
  1. ... the second buyer, the man approached Tanya hypothetically she held out product in her hand and -- and the man took one of the product and he held it to the sun. Could you tell us what that's all about?
  2. A - Again, the drug business is an illegal business, not controlled by the Food and Drug Administration, your Better Business Bureau. There is no truth in packaging and there is no truth in advertising. When you're purchasing drugs and there's many people out there that sell counterfeit drugs or false drugs. When you are purchasing drugs it is totally, totally upon you to get the proper weight and what you believe to be the product. If you're looking to buy cocaine cocaine has a certain appearance to it. It's a crystalline substance. It is a white powdery substance. I wouldn't buy something that is purple in color and stuffed into a bag. If I was looking for heroin it could be an off whittle color, a whitish color. It is a finer powder. There is certain characteristics and if you are an abuser of controlled substances you know what the characteristics are. Also the weight of the product, you can look at the weight of it. There is never a true one point three grams in the bag. It doesn't say there that is in control sign. By pick it ...
Dixon - Direct 12
  1. ... up you are holding it out ot see how much of that product was in that package, how much that bag contained and you are approximating the weight. Again, every bag is not a half a gram or a gram or an ounce. It's the weights fluctuate greatly. For example, an ounce of a substance, a true ounce is 28.346 grams, but a street ounce which is totally different and it's not listed in a dictionary is twenty-five grams. So you have discrepancy there. But a street ounce is twenty-five grams. It is just easier to figure that way.
  2. Q - Also, in the hypothetical the three packets that were recovered from Tanya had markings on it Bloody Money. What does that mean?
  3. A - Well, sir, to be honest with you in your hypothetical you never said what type of drug we are talking about, but because of what you just said I would assume the type of drug in this hypothetical is heroin because usually heroin, not usually always, heroin has some type of brand name stamped on it. Not that every packet has a brand name, but heroin is usually the only drug that's associated with brand names. The reason for that being really it is psychological. We were all raised by our parents if you had ...
Dixon - Direct 13
  1. ... Del Monte ketchup in your house you probably still buy Del Monte ketchup because you like the taste of it, and you just walk into the store and you don't look at Heinz, Hunts and everybody else, you go to Del Monte and pick it up. As an abuser of heroin, it is an illegal substance. It is a substance that very well could cause death if it's not cut, diluted, packaged properly. So Bloody Mary in this particular case if I want some Bloody Mary heroin and have a good high or a good experience with that that's the type of heroin I am going to go back and look for next time. Bloody Mary. It is a brand name, that is all it is, and usually associated only with heroin. Cocaine in larger amounts, in kilo amounts I have seen names, brand names and insignias and symbols on it usually indicates the chemist that manufactured it in South America or the designee in the United States who is going to get it. But very, very seldom do I see it with other drugs. I have seen P. C. P. on one or two occasions have some type of name or something attached to it. L. S. D. cartoon character, stamps on pieces of paper, yes, that is a brand name too. It indicates something totally different, though. But heroin is a brand name.
  2. Q - So Bloody Money to you you would think ...
Dixon - Direct/Cross 14
  1. ... heroin?
  2. A - Heroin right away.
  3. MR. STORCH: No further questions at this time.
  4. THE COURT: Mr. Marain.
  5. MR. MARAIN: Thank you, your Honor.
  7. Q - Good morning, lieutenant.
  8. A - Good morning.
  9. Q - Lieutenant, you provided an opinion for the jury?
  10. A - Yes, sir.
  11. Q - And the opinion that you provided for the jury was based upon the facts in the hypothetical?
  12. A - Yes. What was in the hypothetical, yes.
  13. Q - And you considered all of the facts in the hypothetical?
  14. A - Yes.
  15. Q - And you based your opinion on the facts as presented? I think I'm repeating myself.
  16. A - Yes.
  17. Q - Lieutenant, are you familiar with a term called GIGO, G-I-G-O?
  18. A - Can't say that I am, sir.
Dixon - Cross 15
  1. Q - Okay. Are you familiar with a term called garbage in garbage out?
  2. A - Garbage in garbage out. I'm familiar with what it means to me, yes.
  3. Q - What does it mean to you, lieutenant?
  4. A - If you put -- well, it could mean a lot of things. If you don't put much effort into something you are not going to get much effort out of it. If you are not going to put good product in you are not going to put good product out.
  5. Q - Could it also mean if you are given a hypothetical that contains erroneous facts that you are in danger of coming up with an erroneous conclusion?
  6. A - My conclusion is only based on the hypothetical.
  7. Q - Exactly. Okay. Now, lieutenant, you spoke about the method of having a supplier nearby and that being a separate person from the actual seller?
  8. A - I spoke of two people close by. I don't believe I used the terminology supplier. I said two people working together.
  9. Q - Okay?
  10. A - I never gave one more importance than the other.
  11. Q - And that method of two people working together is just one of the ways in which drugs are distributed?
Dixon - Cross 16
  1. A - Yes, sir.
  2. Q - And there are obviously many variations?
  3. A - Yes, there are.
  4. Q - Often drug sellers work the streets individually as opposed to in teams?
  5. A - They could, yes, sir, very well. Very likely.
  6. Q - Often the seller's supplier is not in the immediate area?
  7. A - At times, yes, sir.
  8. Q - When you consider hypotheticals again I think this is a repetition but you consider all the facts that are presented to you?
  9. A - In the hypothetical.
  10. Q - Correct?
  11. A - Yes.
  12. Q - And if more facts were presented you would consider those additional facts also?
  13. A - Yes, sir.
  14. Q - The absence of facts can also be significant?
  15. A - If something is not in the hypothetical that I take into consideration it affects that hypothetical, yes.
  16. Q - In this particular case there was no indication in the hypothetical that heroin was found inside the car?
Dixon - Cross 17
  1. A - No, sir, not in the hypothetical.
  2. Q - And if heroin had been found inside the car that would have reinforced your opinion?
  3. A - Would have been another factor that would have been considered, yes, sir.
  4. Q - There is no indication in the hypothetical that heroin was found on the person of the individual in the car?
  5. A - No, sir, there was not.
  6. Q - And if heroin had been found on the person of the individual inside the car that would have reinforced your opinion?
  7. A - Again, yes, sir.
  8. Q - There's no indication that there were any scales or balances found inside the car?
  9. A - No, sir.
  10. Q - If scales or balances had been found inside the car that would have reinforced your opinion?
  11. A - It would have been another thing, another item to consider, yes, sir.
  12. Q - And it would have reinforced your opinion?
  13. A - Yes, sir.
  14. Q - There is no indication that there were cutting agents inside the car?
  15. A - No, sir.
Dixon - Cross 18
  1. Q - If cutting agents had been found inside the car that would have reinforced your opinion?
  2. A - Yes, sir.
  3. Q - The hypothetical contained no suggestion that spoons were found inside the car?
  4. A - No, sir.
  5. Q - If spoons had been found inside the car that would have reinforced your opinion?
  6. A - It is related paraphernalia, yes, sir, it would.
  7. Q - The hypothetical did not mention that any rubber bands were found inside the car?
  8. A - No, sir.
  9. Q - If rubber bands had been found inside the car that would have reinforced your opinion?
  10. A - To a degree, yes, sir.
  11. Q - There was nothing in the hypothetical that vials or capsules or balloons were found inside the car?
  12. A - No, sir, there was not.
  13. Q - If you had been told that vials, capsules or balloons had been found inside the car that would have reinforced your opinion?
  14. A - Related paraphernalia to the drug in question, yes, sir.
  15. Q - There is nothing in the hypothetical that ...
Dixon - Cross 19
  1. ... envelopes were found inside the car?
  2. A - No, sir, there is not.
  3. Q - If envelopes had been found inside the car that would have reinforced your opinion?
  4. A - Again related paraphernalia, yes, sir.
  5. Q - There's nothing in the hypothetical that pipes were found inside the car?
  6. A - No, sir, there is not.
  7. Q - If pipes had been found inside the car that would have reinforced your opinion?
  8. A - Depending on the type of pipes but if it is the type of pipe used to smoke heroin, yes, sir, the drug in question.
  9. Q - And with regard to all the things that we just talked about that were not in the hypothetical, scales or balances, cutting agents, spoons, rubber bands, vials, capsules, balloons, envelopes, pipes, there is no indication that in the hypothetical that any of these items were found on the person of the individual inside the car?
  10. A - No, sir, there was not, not in the hypothetical.
  11. Q - And if any of these items had been found on the person of the individual inside the car that would have reinforced your opinion?
  12. A - Another factor to consider, yes.
Dixon - Cross 20
  1. Q - You would not only have considered it but it would have reinforced your opinion?
  2. A - Yes, sir.
  3. Q - You did consider the fact that a hundred and twenty-four dollars was found on the person of the individual inside the car?
  4. A - Yes, sir, that was in part of the hypothetical.
  5. Q - And that was something that you considered in coming up with your ultimate opinion?
  6. A - One of the factors, yes, sir.
  7. Q - Why, Lieutenant Dixon, in your judgment was the one hundred and twenty-four dollars significant?
  8. A - Part of the observations of the officer were the two individuals, the young lady outside the car and the young lady inside the car exchange product for money. I would be more surprised if there was no money found in the car because it would not have substantiated the officer's observations.
  9. Q - A - hundred and twenty-four dollars, lieutenant, is not an especially large amount of money relatively speaking?
  10. A - No, not at all, sir.
  11. Q - So the fact that the individual had a hundred and twenty-four dollars by itself is not something from which you can come to a conclusion?
Dixon - Cross 21
  1. A - Just that fact alone bar anything else, no, sir, could not.
  2. Q - The conclusion that you ultimately reached is based in large measure upon the observations of the surveillance officer?
  3. A - Based on the observations, yes, sir. I wouldn't way the weight large or not. I would say it's one of the factors, one of the main factors I considered, yes.
  4. Q - One of the main factors?
  5. A - One of the main factors.
  6. Q - If -- I would like you, lieutenant, to assume in my hypothetical that the observations of the surveillance officer are not reliable?
  7. A - Okay.
  8. Q - What would that assumption, lieutenant, do to your ultimate conclusion?
  9. A - Not reliable in what way, sir? He never -- the surveilling officer never made the observations? The surveilling officer thought he saw green items and they turned out to be yellow items? What type? You'd have to explain what he did not see or what's not reliable. Remember, the observations were basically substantiated by what was found.
  10. Q - Well, you agree in the hypothetical absolutely nothing was found inside the car?
Dixon - Cross 22
  1. A - Absolutely. Nothing was found, not in the hypothetical.
  2. Q - Now, not reliable, lieutenant, with regard to the factor of Tanya Burgess obtaining packets from the individual inside the car?
  3. A - Like if the officer you're saying considered the fact that the officer never saw an exchange between the two young ladies.
  4. Q - That is exactly what I'm saying.
  5. A - If he never saw an exchange between two young ladies and there was two, one young lady was on the street distributing controlled substances and one was just sitting in a car with money, I would be changing or altering my opinion, sure, if that was the hypothetical.
  6. Q - And what would her --
  7. THE COURT: Counsel, excuse me, Mr. Marain. Can I see counsel at side-bar?
  8. (A - discussion was held at side-bar as follows.)
  9. THE COURT: I apologize for interrupting, Mr. Marain, but I -- I have some concerns about the manner in which Lieutenant Dixon's testimony is proceeding. I tried to make it clear earlier that Lieutenant Dixon can offer opinions with respect to certain facts that ...
Dixon - Cross 23
  1. ... may or may not exist, and to that extent his opinion is within the law, if you will. I don't think it's a good idea to have Lieutenant Dixon ask questions regarding the observations of the officers because in effect that testimony then has a tendency to either reinforce or not reinforce the testimony of the officers. It's one thing to say assume for the moment that there were two women out there and one of them was, you know, handing heroin to someone else and then went back to the car. It's another thing to say assume that the officer saw this or they didn't see that because that's really -- that then -- you know -- has an impact on the testimony of the officers, and his testimony should not be in any way couched so as to reinforce the testimony of the officers. The way I think that it should be couched is let's take the facts that the officer said they saw, all right. If he said -- if assuming that those facts are accurate what's his opinion? If those facts are not accurate then what's his opinion? I think we should stay away from having him relate to officer testimony because that's not hypothetical any longer.
  2. MR. MARAIN: Well, I was attempting to couch my terms in hypothetical terms, to couch my questions in hypothetical terms. I may have strayed from that, ...
Dixon - Cross 24
  1. ... but in essence I was asking him to change the hypothesis to the effect that the officer's observations are not reliable.
  2. THE COURT: Well, see, but that's the part that, in other words, I think the way to do that, Mr. Marain, the way that I would permit it is to simply say your opinion was based upon the fact that the one woman was selling or giving heroin to someone else and then she went back to the cash and she got heroin from somebody else. What if that person -- you know -- assume for a moment that that person in the car did not have any heroin on her person or did not hand it -- did not hand money, whatever it is that you want the opinion to be based on, but not to say assume that the officer's testimony is not reliable because that -- he's not qualified to do that. And I think it --
  3. MR. MARAIN: Okay.
  4. THE COURT: See, what it does, the impact is that then you're asking this jury to be helped, if you will, by the expert commenting on the reliability or lack of reliability of the officer's testimony. That's not really what the expert is supposed to be assisting the jury in. The expert is supposed to say assume these facts are correct this is my opinion about something. All right. If these facts are not correct ...
Dixon - Cross 25
  1. ... then I would maybe modify my opinion. That is how I think this question should proceed.
  2. MR. MARAIN: Okay. I will endeavor to -- to ask questions in the form proposed by your Honor, and parenthetically I was very close to finished but . . .
  3. THE COURT: All right. I don't mean to -- I think it's just -- frankly, I don't think it's fair to the defendant to have this officer testifying about -- you know -- the reliability or lack of reliability of the officer's testimony. It's -- you know there are some facts that he is assuming in his hypothetical. It shouldn't matter whether those facts are based upon the officer's testimony, pulled out of thin air or whatever. If we stress that they're based on the officer's testimony then we are in effect reinforcing the testimony.
  4. MR. MARAIN: Okay. I think I can -- I think I can work with that.
  5. THE COURT: Okay. Thank you.
  6. (Discussion at side-bar concluded.)
  7. THE COURT: Go ahead, Mr. Marain.
  9. Q - Lieutenant, let me ask the question in a slightly different manner. You recall the hypothetical question asked by the prosecutor?
Dixon - Cross 26
  1. A - Yes, sir, I do.
  2. Q - If from that hypothetical question you eliminate the part that the seller in the street obtained packets of heroin from the person in the car would you agree that you then can not conclude that the person in the car possessed heroin with intent to distribute?
  3. A - That the only item in that -- in Mr. Storch's hypothetical that you are changing that no heroin was obtained from the young lady in the car?
  4. Q - Yes, sir.
  5. A - No, sir, I would still come up with the same conclusion based on the other parts of the hypothetical as presented to me.
  6. Q - And which other parts might that be, officer?
  7. A - Statement by the individual that she was working for the other young lady, that she was distributing drugs, the fact that one person on the street has heroin, she's going back and forth getting change -- change, not heroin. I didn't say -- exchange hands but the change. Although change is an innocent part of it the statement that she was working for the young lady shows -- shows to me in my opinion the knowledge.
  8. Q - Okay. You -- we agree that the change in and of itself is an innocent part?
Dixon - Cross 27
  1. A - It's innocent.
  2. Q - Now, with regard to the statement of the person on the street selling to the ultimate customer?
  3. A - Okay. Yes, sir.
  4. Q - Person on the street selling to the ultimate customer you would agree is from your experience a person of less than great regard for truth?
  5. A - I don't know how I could even answer that, sir. You mean have I been lied to by street people? Yes. On many occasions. Have I been told the ultimate truth by people on the street? Yes. I'm not going to say someone is a liar because they are street people. I think that's an area that people shouldn't be put into just because they're street people.
  6. Q - I think we are in complete agreement with that, officer. But when someone who is a street seller says something to you you are not going to accept it blindly?
  7. A - Blindly, no. There would be something to corroborate that.
  8. Q - You are going to consider who it is that is saying it?
  9. A - Yes, sir.
  10. Q - You are going to consider what they're saying?
Dixon - Cross 28
  1. A - Yes, sir.
  2. Q - You are going to consider whether what they're saying might be self-serving?
  3. A - Yes, sir. I'd consider that.
  4. Q - In your work in narcotics, lieutenant, you've had occasion, you've had many occasions to work with informants?
  5. A - Yes, sir, I have.
  6. Q - A - lot of informants that you have worked with are people that were themselves facing charges?
  7. A - Yes, sir, that's one category, individual cooperates with law enforcement.
  8. Q - And a person who is himself or herself facing a charge does informing for reasons of self-interest?
  9. A - Yes, sir.
  10. Q - More particularly a person who is facing a charge is going to not uncommonly be an informant in order for the proceedings to go easier on that person?
  11. A - Again one of the reasons, yes, sir.
  12. Q - And in point of fact proceedings commonly do go easier on people that are informants that are facing charges?
  13. A - If the informant or if the cooperating individual is truthful and their information proves useful and it could be substantiated and corroborated, yes, sir, it ...
Dixon - Cross/ Summation 29
  1. ... does.
  2. Q - And the people that are informants by and large are aware that they can make life easier on themselves by being informants?
  3. A - Can't speak for someone else but I would say that's a fair statement.
  4. Q - And when a person serves as an informant sometimes the information that they give is not reliable?
  5. A - Yes, sir.
  6. Q - Thank you, lieutenant.
  7. MR. MARAIN: Nothing further.
  8. (The excerpt of Ronald Dixon's testimony concluded.)
  9. (Mr. Marain's summation is as follows.)
  10. MR. MARAIN: Thank you. May it please the Court, Judge DeVesa, Mr. Prosecutor, Madame forelady, members of the jury. I have a confession to make. I like Batman. I loved the movies, especially Batman One, and I've been reading Batman comic books for more years than I care to remember. And I remember one particular comic adventure, many years ago where the villain in that particular story had designed and constructed a gigantic chess board. The villain was using as chess pieces human beings, and the villain would just ...
Summation 30
  1. ... cause these pieces to be moved from one square to another to another on the board using these human beings as pawns. And that brings to mind this case. Patrolman Ewing decides, for whatever reason, that Pamela Williams should be charged with nothing serious. So she isn't and her case disappears. Patrolman Ewing decides, for whatever reason, that Betty Riles should be charged as a drug dealer and she's so charged and here she is. But detective -- excuse me. Patrolman Ewing is no longer moving the pieces. Remember the example I gave in my opening. Cop stops you for speeding but it is not the cop that decides you're guilty or you're innocent. The role of the cop, the role of the cop can perhaps be illustrated by a story that's told about former United States senator Bill Bradley. Bill Bradley was being roasted and the roaster told of an occasion when Bill Bradley was at a banquet and he was seated at the table and there was a waiter that was going from place to place at the table. Each place he would stop and leave a pat of butter and then he would move on to the next place and leave a pat of butter and move on again. Well, the waiter comes to Bill Bradley's place and he leaves a pat of butter and he starts to ...

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