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United States v. Allen

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

February 2, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ANGELO ALLEN, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION SUPPORTING ORDER GRANTING THE GOVERNMENT'S MOTION TO ADJOURN [69] AND ORDERING DISCLOSURES

          STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III United States District Judge

         The defendants are three brothers: Jeffrey, Carlos, and Angelo Allen. Each is accused of committing a carjacking on May 16, 2016. Angelo Allen is also accused of discharging a firearm during the commission of the crime. The Allens were all arrested within four days of the alleged carjacking and have been in pretrial custody since that time.

         The Court has granted the Government's motion for an adjournment because Angelo was recently appointed a new attorney.[1] The Court set a new trial date for March 14, 2017 and found that the period of January 12, 2017 to March 14, 2017 was excludable delay under the Speedy Trial Act. Order, ECF No. 69. The Court will now justify its Order and also set the deadlines for the Government to disclose the names of its witnesses and its reasons for introducing 404(b) evidence.

         BACKGROUND

         The trial date was originally set for July 26, 2016. It was adjourned, through the parties' stipulation, to September 13, 2016. Stip. Order, ECF No. 34. An adjournment to January 10, 2017 followed, due to the pretrial motions of two of the Defendants. ECF No. 52.

         Jeffrey and Carlos collectively filed four motions on August 1, 2016. The motions sought to suppress certain evidence and to compel disclosures pursuant to Brady. The motions were fully briefed by August 22, 2016 and the Court held a hearing on September 12, 2016. Because the trial was set for the next day, the Court adjourned the trial to January 10, 2017. ECF No. 52. The Court entered an order resolving the motions on September 27, 2016. ECF No. 47.

         Angelo then filed a "Request for Appointment of Counsel" on October 19, 2016. ECF No. 53. The Court held a hearing two weeks later, on November 3, 2016. Not., ECF No. 54. At the hearing, Angelo and his attorney explained that Angelo was concerned that his attorney was not taking sufficient action on his behalf - by not filing any prior motions as the other Defendants had done. The attorney explained that she felt that joining the motions was not strategically necessary. Angelo confirmed to the Court that he was now satisfied with his attorney's performance and was willing to continue with her as his representative. The Court therefore found the appointment request moot.

         But Angelo continued to have disagreements with his attorney, and filed a motion for her to be withdrawn two weeks later. ECF No. 57. The Court held another hearing on December 1, 2016 and determined that the relationship between Angelo and his attorney was irreparably broken. The Court granted his motion and appointed a new attorney the same day. Order, ECF No. 59. The Court then entered an order finding as excludable delay the period from September 13, 2016 (the old trial date) to January 10, 2017 (the then-current trial date). ECF No. 60.

         Two weeks after Angelo Allen was appointed new counsel, the Government, with Angelo's concurrence, sought an adjournment to allow for adequate trial preparation. Mot., ECF No. 61. When the Court learned that Jeffrey and Carlos opposed the motion, it ordered their responses in compliance with the time provided in Local Rule 7.1(e)(2) and set and held a hearing on January 6, 2017 - one week after the responses were due. Order, ECF No. 65.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Opinion Supporting Previous Order

         The Speedy Trial Act establishes two time periods relevant to the case: a 70-day period and a 90-day period. Pursuant to the Act, a criminal defendant is to be tried within 70 days from the filing date of the indictment or from "the date the defendant has appeared before a judicial officer of the court in which such charge is pending" - whichever is later. 18 U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1). If the criminal defendant is detained pending trial, the trial must commence no later than 90 days following the beginning of his continuous detention. 18 U.S.C. § 3164(a). If the trial is not commenced within the 90 days, the Court must review the conditions of the defendant's release. Id. at (c).

         There are, however, certain periods of time that are excluded in computing both the 70- and 90-day periods. See Id. at § 3161(h). One such exclusion is "delay resulting from any pretrial motion, from the filing of the motion through the conclusion of the hearing on, or other prompt disposition of, such motion." Id. at § 3161(h)(1)(D).

         The Speedy Trial Act further provides that reasonable periods of delay as to one defendant apply to codefendants when the defendants are joined for trial and no motion for severance has been granted. Id. at § 3161(h)(6). In those cases, one Speedy-Trial clock applies to all the defendants, see United States v. Cope, 312 F.3d 757, 776 (6th Cir. 2002), and the clock's computation is based on the latest co-defendant. See United States v. Blackmon, 874 F.2d 378, 380 (6th Cir. 1989). When a defendant's not-guilty plea follows his indictment and initial appearance, the latter of the ...


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