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159516 - People v Treshaun Lee Terrance

The People of the State of Michigan,

 

David McCreedy

 

Plaintiff-Appellant,

 

v

(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)

 

 

(Wayne– Cox, K.)

 

Treshaun Lee Terrance,

 

Angeles Meneses

 

Defendant-Appellee.

 

Summary

In 2015, the defendant’s girlfriend died by suffocation after a severe beating.  The defendant was charged with first-degree premeditated murder and first-degree felony murder, with the predicate felony being torture, which was not separately charged.  At trial, the jury acquitted the defendant of first-degree murder and the lesser offense of second-degree murder.  The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the felony-murder charge and the trial court declared a mistrial.  The prosecutor again charged the defendant with felony murder, and the defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.  But the defendant filed a motion to withdraw his plea, vacate his conviction, and dismiss the charge against him on double jeopardy grounds.  The trial court granted the motion, the Court of Appeals affirmed in an unpublished opinion, the Supreme Court denied leave to appeal, and the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari.  The prosecutor then charged the defendant with torture, and the defendant again moved to dismiss, arguing that the charge constituted a double jeopardy violation and a vindictive prosecution.  The trial court denied the motion. In a split unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeals majority held that the torture charge was barred by the issue-preclusion aspect of double jeopardy.  The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on the prosecutor’s application to address whether the Court of Appeals erred when it concluded that the jury in the defendant’s first trial, when it acquitted him of first- and second-degree murder, necessarily decided an issue of ultimate fact such that the issue-preclusion aspect of the Double Jeopardy Clause bars prosecution for the crime of torture arising out of the same criminal incident.​