In Phornsavanh v. State, 481 P.3d 1145 (Alaska Ct. App. 2021), the court of appeals held that when trial courts rule on motions for a new trial based on the weight of the evidence, they must independently weigh the evidence and use their discretion to make their own credibility determination about whether a new trial is needed to prevent injustice. (Id. at 1158–59). A jury found Korakanh Phornsavanh guilty of first-degree murder for a fatal shooting outside an Anchorage nightclub. (Id. at 1148). At the close of the State’s case and after the jury reached a verdict, Phornsavanh filed a motion for judgment of acquittal under Alaska Criminal Rule 29. (Id. at 1153). In the alternative, Phornsavanh filed a motion for a new trial under Alaska Criminal Rule 33, arguing that the jury’s verdict was contrary to the weight of the evidence. (Id.). The superior court denied both motions. (Id.). On appeal, the State argues that the trial court applied the correct legal standard in denying the defendant’s motion for a new trial since the holding in Hunter v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., 364 P.3d 439 (Alaska 2015) applies only to civil cases. (Phornsavanh, 481 P.3d at 1160). The court of appeals remanded the lower court’s decision, holding that Hunter applies to both criminal and civil cases, and the supreme court’s holding in Hunter corrects previous cases which have erroneously confused the standard for a motion for acquittal and a motion for a new trial against the weight of the evidence. (Id. at 1159–60). The court found that the trial court applied an incorrect legal standard in denying Phornsavanh’s motion because the trial court’s analysis was not a statement of the court’s personal view of the evidence and instead continually referred to an abstract fact-finder and what this fact-finder could “reasonably infer” from the evidence. (Id. at 1158–59). Remanding the case to superior court for reconsideration of the motion, the court of appeals held that the trial court must independently weigh the evidence and use their discretion to determine if a new trial is needed to prevent injustice based on the weight of the evidence. (Id. at 1161–62).