Last Place on Earth owner's defense attorney says his case ready for appeals

By KBJR News 1

December 30, 2013 Updated Dec 30, 2013 at 11:30 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Since Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson was found guilty of over 50 counts of synthetic drug sales, his Defense Attorney Randall Tigue has been busy trying to reverse the verdict.

Tigue has filed for a motion for a new trial, and motion for judgment of acquittal.

"[We] presented what I believe were very compelling and persuasive arguments in support of those motions," said Tigue, "the judge paid no attention to them, and denied them."

What's left, says Tigue, is an appeal to the 8th Circuit Court, before a panel of three judges.

Tigue says they have many issues to raise in an appeals case.
That includes the allegation from Tigue that the DEA did not follow Congress's list of requirements when naming something an illegal substance, or analogue.

"If JWH–018 was never properly declared illegal, then certainly no analogue of JWH–018 could ever be illegal," said Tigue.

Tigue says Judge David Doty's refusal to allow into evidence quotes from state lawmakers, like US Senator Amy Klobuchar, about the legality of substances Carlson was selling was also a blow to his case.

"The government can tell you on one hand that if you do this, it's legal," said Tigue, "and on the other hand prosecute you for doing what government has told you is legal, and that's outrageous."

One road block, however, is their inability to raise any point in appeals court that refers to the jury's original deliberative process.

After the trial, one anonymous juror spoke to our partners at the Duluth News Tribune about just how close Carlson came to being a free man.

"We would certainly raise the serious questions that this juror obviously raised concerning what the jury really decided, but that's kind of off limits," added Tigue.

Sentencing on this case isn't expected until March, or April.

Tigue has also filed for a motion for Carlson's release from the Sherburne County Jail, on the grounds that he has been refused necessary vitamin supplements, which is, according to Tigue, a violation of his 8th Amendment rights.

Billy Wagness