Francisca C. MILLER, Appellant,
UNITED STATES, Appellee.
May 7, 2019
from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
(DVM-358-13), (Hon. A. Franklin Burgess Jr., Trial Judge)
L. Biderman for appellant.
R. Bates, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Jessie
K. Liu, United States Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman, John
P. Mannarino, and Rikki D. McCoy, Assistant United States
Attorneys, were on the briefs, for appellee.
Beckwith and McLeese, Associate Judges, and Nebeker, Senior
a bench trial, appellant Francisca Miller was found guilty of
attempted possession of a prohibited weapon and attempted
threats to do bodily harm. Ms.
Miller is not a United States citizen, and it is uncontested
that her convictions legally authorize her to be removed from
the United States. Relying on our recent decision in Bado
v. United States, 186 A.3d 1243 (D.C. 2018) (en banc),
Ms. Miller argues among other things that she was denied her
constitutional right to a jury trial. We agree, and we
therefore vacate Ms. Millers convictions and remand for
United Statess evidence at trial was as follows. On the date
of the offense, Ms. Miller lived at 3552 Warter Street N.W.
with Teresa Smith and Ms. Smiths boyfriend, Marquis Childs.
Ms. Smith heard an argument between Ms. Miller and Mr.
Childs. Entering the kitchen where the argument was taking
place, Ms. Smith asked what was going on. Ms. Miller began to
curse at Ms. Smith and stated she was going to cut Ms.
Smiths eye out. Ms. Miller then ran to her room and
retrieved a large butcher knife with an approximately
eight-inch blade and a black handle. Ms. Miller returned,
waved the knife around, and said "Ill fuck you
up," and "Im going to get your ass, bitch."
Ms. Smith was scared and upset.
Smith called the police. A Metropolitan Police Department
(MPD) officer responded to the house and spoke with Ms.
Miller. Ms. Miller told the officer that she and Ms. Smith
had a verbal argument, but Ms. Miller denied wielding a
knife. The officer performed a consensual search of Ms.
Millers room and found a knife with a black handle in plain
view. Mr. Childs identified that knife as the knife Ms.
Miller had wielded earlier. An MPD detective interviewed Ms.
Smith. Ms. Smith told the detective that Ms. Miller had
pulled a knife on her. Mr. Childs corroborated Ms. Smiths
defense evidence was as follows. Ms. Miller testified that on
the day of the incident she was talking to Mr. Childs in the
kitchen, that Mr. Childs threatened her, and that she was
afraid of him. She did not bring out a knife during the
argument or threaten anyone with a knife. She keeps cooking
knives in her room because she does not want them to go
missing and because of roaches and mice. John Osanyingbemi,
another resident of 3552 Warter Street, also testified. He
testified that he saw the argument in the kitchen and that no