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The legal team for the former Marine convicted of stabbing a fellow Marine while uttering a homophobic epithet has been granted additional time to file a Rule 33 motion, a request for a new trial, after a jury in December found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
Michael Poth, of Southeast D.C., was initially tried on a charge of second-degree murder while armed for stabbing Philip Bushong, of Camp Lejeune, N.C., following an altercation between the two in the city’s Barracks Row neighborhood during the early morning hours of April 21, 2012. But the jury in the case deadlocked, prompting Poth’s chief lawyer, Bernard Grimm, to ask for a mistrial.
D.C. Superior Court Judge Russell F. Canan rejected Grimm’s motion and gave the jury the option of finding Poth guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter. The jury later determined Poth was guilty of second-degree voluntary manslaughter, meaning they believed he intended or decided beforehand to attack Bushong, but only to injure him, rather than kill him.
Poth was originally expected to appear in court Feb. 7 for sentencing, but Canan agreed Feb. 6 to grant Grimm more time to file a Rule 33 motion asking for a new trial for his client. Grimm must submit his motion by April 25, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia (USAO-DC) must respond to the motion by May 23. If Grimm’s request is rejected, Poth will appear in court for sentencing May 30. According to the USAO-DC, a conviction on a charge of voluntary manslaughter can carry up to 60 years in prison.