United States District Court, D. Maryland
J. MESSITTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Wayne Watford has filed two Motions for a New Trial pursuant
to Fed. R. Crim. P. 33. E:CF Nos. 312, 316, as well was a
Motion to Correct Sentence, ECF No. 320, citing (erroneously)
Fed R. Crim. P. 52(b). For the following reasons, the Court
will DENY these Motions.
Factual and Procedural Background
approximately May 2012 and October 2012. Watford, his
co-Defendant Juan Carlos Willis, and conspirators known and
unknown, executed a scheme to obtain property and money by
means of false and fraudulent pretenses from several car
dealerships in suburban Maryland: BMW of Silver Spring,
Capitol Cadillac. Mercedes-Benz of Silver Spring, BMW
Financial, TD Auto, Mercedes Financial, among others.
modus operandi was as follows:
and Watford would obtain identification information from
people around the United States and use that information to
obtain false identification documents containing the
victims' information but substituting the
conspirators' pictures. Willis and Watford would then use
the stolen information to portray the victims as individuals
having an association with business entities under the
conspirators' control. Watford et at. would then visit
automobile dealerships in the metropolitan D.C. area, and
using the stolen and altered information and documents, would
apply for and obtain financing to purchase luxury vehicles.
Watford el al. would then purchase the luxury vehicles.
was charged in a Third Superseding Indictment with thirteen
Counts, including Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Wire
Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft. ECF No. 164. A jury
found him guilty of twelve of the Counts and not guilty of
one. ECF No. 220. On October 15, 2015, the Court sentenced
Watford to a total of 135 months imprisonment, followed by 5
years supervised release. ECF No. 262. Watford appealed his
conviction and sentence, which the Fourth Circuit affirmed on
May 19. 2017. ECF No. 307.
April 13, 2018, Watford mailed the Court a Motion for a New
Trial. ECF No. 312. The motion was received by the Court and
deemed filed on April 20, 2018. The Government filed a
Response on May 10, 2018. ECF No. 314.
between, on April 22, 2018, Watford, without the Court's
leave, submitted an additional Motion for a New Trial,
claiming it was an amendment to the original Motion. ECF No.
316. The Government filed a Response to the April 22 Motion
on June 11, 2018. ECF No. 318. Watford sent the Court a Reply
on June 27, 2018. ECF No. 319.
October 1, 2018, the Court received Watford's Motion to
Correct Sentence. ECF No. 320. The Government filed its
Opposition to the Motion on October 12, 2018, ECF No. 321,
and the Court received Watford's Reply on October 29,
2018. ECF No. 325.
Motion for New Trial
argues that he is entitled to a new trial because (a) the
Court erred in denying a motion for acquittal made at the
close of evidence, (b) the jury verdict was not substantially
supported by and was contrary to the weight of the evidence,
(c) the Court erred in admitting certain trial testimony, (d)
the Court erred in sustaining certain objections at trial,
and (e) the prosecution repeatedly entered knowingly false
evidence that Watford had prior convictions and that Watford
had used his business identity in the course of committing
fraud. ECF No. 312. Watford also claims that the Government
committed a Brady violation by withholding a potentially
exculpatory memorandum of an interview that Montgomery County
police conducted with co-Defendant Juan Willis and
co-conspirator Flinton Newton in which Newton allegedly
confessed to the fraudulent car-purchasing scheme. ECF No.
316 at 2. The Government's response is that. regardless
of the veracity of Watford's claims, his motion is barred
by limitations. ECF Nos. 314. 318. The Court agrees with the
motion for trial on any grounds besides the discovery of new
evidence "must be filed within 14 days after the verdict
or finding of guilty." Fed. R. Crim. P. 33(b)(2);
see also United Slates v. Blackwell, 436 Fed.Appx.
192, 197-98 (4th Cir. 2011) (discussing the statutes of
limitations for a Rule 33 Motion). If the defendant's
motion is based upon the discovery of new evidence, it must
be filed within three years "after the verdict or
finding of guilty." Fed. R. Crim. P. 33(b)(1).
jury' found Watford guilty on April 16, 2015. ECF No.
220. His first Motion for New Trial, dated April 13, 2018,
ECF No. 312, cites only purported violations that occurred
during his trial and does not mention any newly-discovered
evidence as grounds for a new trial. Accordingly, his Motion,
filed approximately three years following his verdict, falls
well outside the fourteen- day limitations period after he
was found guilty. While Watford's second Motion for New
Trial, ECF No. 316, purports to offer newly-discovered
evidence to justify a new trial, the Motion is dated April
22, 2018, more than three years after the guilty verdict in
the underlying trial, well beyond the three-year limitations
period for such a filing. See UnitedStates v.