United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
P. JORDAN III, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
three years after the verdict, Defendant Christopher Kidd
seeks judgment of acquittal or a new trial-his second such
request. Def.'s Mot. . For the following reasons,
the motion is denied.
October 21, 2015, the jury found that Kidd conspired to
distribute methamphetamine and distributed methamphetamine.
Kidd then filed a timely motion for judgment of acquittal or
new trial, see Def.'s Mot. , which the
Court denied because “the evidence of guilt was
overwhelming, ” Nov. 30, 2015 Order  at 2. A
protracted dispute over Kidd's competence followed,
ultimately resulting in a finding that he was competent at
the time of trial and remains so.
his April 12, 2019 sentencing hearing, but before judgment
was entered, Kidd filed the instant motion again seeking
judgement of acquittal or a new trial. According to Kidd, the
Court should grant relief under Federal Rule of Criminal
Procedure 29, or alternatively Rule 33, because (1) the
verdict is against the overwhelming weight of the evidence;
(2) the evidence was insufficient to substantiate the
verdict; (3) the Court erred in finding Kidd competent to
stand trial; (4) trial counsel was constitutionally
ineffective; and (5) the Court erred by denying Kidd new
trial counsel. See Def.'s Mot.  at 1.
filed no supporting memorandum and failed to explain these
arguments, prompting the Government to file a similarly thin
response. Kidd then declined to file a reply within the five
days allowed under Local Uniform Criminal Rule 47(D).
April 24, 2019, Kidd-who is still represented by
counsel-filed a pro se notice of appeal . In his notice,
Kidd seeks to appeal the “judgment and sentence imposed
by this Court on April 12, 2019.” Not. of Appeal .
That raises a jurisdictional question.
filing of a notice of appeal is an event of jurisdictional
significance-it confers jurisdiction on the court of appeals
and divests the district court of its control over those
aspects of the case involved in the appeal.” Griggs
v. Provident Consumer Disc. Co., 459 U.S. 56, 58 (1982).
But in this case, Kidd prematurely filed his notice. Under
Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(b)(1)(A)(i), the notice
must be filed “within 14 days after . . . the entry of
. . . the judgment . . . being appealed.” No. such
judgment has been entered here because Kidd filed his motion
for judgment of acquittal or new trial after sentencing.
Court must therefore consider Rule 4(b)(2), which states that
“[a] notice of appeal filed after the court announces a
decision, sentence, or order-but before the entry of the
judgment or order-is treated as filed on the date of and
after the entry.” Under this rule, Kidd's premature
notice is not yet deemed effective. See United States v.
Lucero, 755 Fed.Appx. 384, 386 (5th Cir. 2018) (holding
that jurisdiction vested with appellate court when
“notice of appeal became effective”).
Jurisdiction has not passed to the Fifth Circuit.
presents a blend of old and new issues in his most recent
motion. The Court will first review the previously rejected
arguments and then address the new ones.
premises his motion on Rules 29 and 33, but he mostly
rehashes arguments the Court has already rejected. As noted
above, the Court denied Kidd's first motion for judgment
of acquittal or new trial based on the weight of the evidence
(Grounds One and Two of the present motion). The Court also
denied Kidd's post-trial motion challenging his
competency and then denied a ...