A 4th District Judge has denied a motion for a new trial filed by a Chicago man convicted last fall of raping a 19-year-old American Fork woman.
Judge Ray M. Harding, in a memorandum decision this week, ruled that 24-year-old Carl M. McClellan failed to show adequate reasons for deserving a new trial. Harding's ruling followed a hearing Friday in which McClellan testified in his own behalf."The court finds the defendant has not shown that there was error, nor has he shown that any of the alleged errors, if corrected, would have led to a different result," Harding said in his ruling. "The defendant has not met the burden required for obtaining a new trial."
During the hearing and in a letter to Harding, McClellan, who is black, claimed he had not received a fair trial because he was convicted by an all-white jury.
"The court agrees that there were no blacks on the jury, but finds that the jury panel as constituted was fair and represented a fair cross-section of this community," Harding responded.
McClellan also complained that public defender Jim Rupper, who replaced the defendant's original attorney following preliminary hearing, didn't have time to adequately prepare for trial. In his ruling, however, Harding reminded the defendant that he had refused a trial delay.
McClellan also was concerned that a woman prepared his pre-sentence report and claimed she didn't have enough time to properly prepare it.
"There was no evidence that the preparation of the report was not assigned in the normal rotation of cases handled by Adult Probation and Parole," Harding ruled.
"It is irrelevant that the report was prepared by a woman. There is also no evidence that the report was prepared in error."
Harding found that McClellan's Miranda rights had not been violated, as he had claimed, and that the introduction as evidence of a tape-recorded interview of the defendant was not prejudicial.
McClellan, a door-to-door salesman working in American Fork last summer, testified at trial that he spoke with the victim, but he denied raping her.