Department of Justice

Calvin Joseph Klein, a 25-year-old Newport Beach resident who was arrested and charged for the 2021 death of Orange Coast College student and The Harbour resident Amonie Palmer, will stand trial beginning June 7. 

Klein is facing a charge of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death for selling oxycodone-laced pills to Palmer. In the indictment, Klein was accused of selling Palmer the pills in the days leading up to the 18-year-old being found unconscious in her apartment on Feb. 9, before she was declared dead shortly after. He was arrested by a Drug Enforcement Agency operation targeting people who sold fentanyl resulting in death in the greater Los Angeles area.

Klein has pleaded not guilty and was released on a $50,000 bond. Klein will be represented by Irvine attorney Ron Cordova. The case is being tried by a jury in the U.S. Central District Court of California, located in Santa Ana in the Federal Ronald Reagan Building and United States Courthouse

The trial will begin at 8:30 a.m. in person at courtroom 10A. Observers are also able to join through Zoom or by dialing +1 669-254-5252 or +1 646-828-7666.

The district judge overseeing Klein’s case is David Carter, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1998. Carter has served in several high-profile cases, such as former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith’s estate battle for her late husband’s inheritance in 2014 and his recent ruling ordering former Donald Trump lawyer and Chapman University law professor John Eastman to turn over email correspondence evidence to the U.S. House of Representatives Jan. 6 investigation committee. 

In other notable cases, Carter ruled in favor of former President Barack Obama in the case Barnett vs. Obama, a lawsuit that sought to invalidate his election victory by claiming he wasn’t born in the U.S. Carter is also known for halting the removal of homeless residents camping in a L.A. riverbed and brokering a deal with the city to house the removed residents in a motel for a month.

Follow Coast Report for updates and trial coverage. 

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