Justices to Sort Out Gunshots in Drug Deal

     WASHINGTON (CN) – A Utah man convicted of using a gun during a federal drug-trafficking offense can renew his appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices said Tuesday.
     At the trial of Justus Cornelius Rosemond, the evidence established that Rosemond and a cohort met a third man, Ricardo Gonzales, in a Tooele, Utah, park to sell him a pound of marijuana.
     Gonzales, who went to the deal with a friend, planned to steal the drugs. He punched Rosemond in the face, grabbed the drugs and ran. The friend, aware of the plan, ran in the opposite direction.
     Rosemond, his cohort and the man who brokered the deal jumped out of their car and one of them fired a 9 mm handgun about 10 times at Gonzales.
     Bystanders reported the shots to police as Rosemond, as the others drove after the thieves. Before they could find their robbers, a state trooper stopped the trio and searched the car for a weapon. It had been hidden under the back seat of the car.
     Days later, the broker identified Rosemond as the shooter in a written statement.
     Rosemond was charged with possession of marijuana, with the intent to distribute; using and discharging a firearm during a federal drug-trafficking offense; being a previously convicted felon in possession of ammunition; and being an alien unlawfully in the United States in possession of ammunition.
     At trial, the broker testified that the shooter could have been Rosemond or his cohort. The cohort testified that Rosemond had fired the shots.
     A federal jury convicted Rosemond of all four offenses, and Rosemond was sentenced to 14 years, with 10 of those years tacked on as a consecutive sentence for using the gun.
     Rosemond appealed only the conviction for using the firearm, but the 10th Circuit affirmed in September 2012.
     The Supreme Court granted Rosemond a writ of certiorari on Tuesday but did not issue any comment in doing so, as is its custom.

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