United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
JANET T. NEFF, JUDGE.
TIMOTHY P. GREELEY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Peter Louis Meshigaud is alleged to have violated the
conditions of his supervised release when he committed a
domestic assault upon J.M. on or about July 23, 2018, and
when he sexually assaulted J.M. on or about August 11, 2018.
On March 13, 2019, the undersigned held a hearing to
determine: (1) whether there is probable cause that Defendant
committed the alleged violations, and (2) whether Defendant
should be detained pending the resolution of the supervised
released violation petition. For the reasons stated below,
the undersigned finds that probable cause exists, and orders
to addressing the issues before the undersigned, it is
necessary to summarize the unique procedural posture of this
case. In 2014, Defendant pled guilty in this Court to
Domestic Violence - Habitual Offender. United States District
Judge R. Allan Edgar sentenced Defendant to 60 months
imprisonment and 3 years supervised release. On February 23,
2018, Defendant began his term of supervision. Defendant did
not appear to have any violations until October 23, 2018,
when a grand jury returned a four-count indictment against
him. See United States v. Peter Louis Meshigaud, No.
2:18-cr-43 (W.D. Mich.). The indictment charged Defendant
with two counts of Domestic Assault - Habitual Offender, one
count Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, and one count
Aggravated Sexual Abuse by Force or Threat. The next day,
Defendant was arrested and arraigned on the indictment. On
October 24, the undersigned entered an Order of Detention,
which explained that the Government had filed a motion for
detention, pretrial services had recommended detention, and
defense counsel reserved the issue of detention until she had
time to consult with Defendant and research the case.
thereafter, on October 26, the United States Probation Office
filed in this case a Petition for Warrant for Offender Under
Supervision. The petition alleged two violations of the
general condition that Defendant shall not commit another
federal, state, or local crime. The two alleged violations
were based on Count 3 and Count 4 of the indictment in the
criminal case. Count 3 alleged that Defendant committed a
domestic assault upon J.M. on or about July 23, 2018. Count 4
alleged that Defendant sexually assaulted J.M. on or about
August 11, 2018. United States District Judge Janet Neff
signed the petition and ordered the issuance of an arrest
warrant. The record reflects that the warrant was executed on
October 29. An initial appearance on the supervised release
violation petition did not initially occur because Plaintiff
was being detained on the new criminal charges. Defense
counsel informed the Court that she wanted the supervised
release violation matter held in abeyance until after the
resolution of the new indictment.
the next several months, the criminal case proceeded. In
March 2019, the case was set for a jury trial in Marquette
before Judge Neff. Unfortunately, a few days before the trial
was supposed to occur, it was adjourned because of an issue
with the physical structure of the courtroom. On March 5, the
criminal case was set for a jury trial in Grand Rapids on
April 9 before U.S. District Judge Gordon J. Quist.
on March 7, the undersigned held an initial appearance on the
supervised release violation. At this hearing, the
undersigned explained that Defendant could not be released in
this case because he was being detained in the criminal case.
Thus, Defendant reserved the issue of detention pending the
resolution of the criminal case.
March 15, U.S. Magistrate Judge Phillip Green held a video
status conference in the criminal case and, after a short
discussion with the parties, set the case for a jury trial in
Marquette on May 7 before U.S. District Judge Terrance G.
Berg. Jury selection began the morning of May 7.
But before jury selection was completed, the Government
informed Judge Berg that J.M. had left the courthouse and was
no longer willing to testify at trial. The Government further
informed Judge Berg that it was not willing to compel J.M. to
testify. Therefore, at the Government's request, Judge
Berg dismissed the indictment without
prejudice. Defendant was not released, however,
because of the pending supervised release petition.
that afternoon, U.S. Magistrate Judge Maarten Vermaat held a
status conference on the supervised release violation and, at
Defendant's request, set it for a detention and
preliminary hearing on May 9. The detention and preliminary
hearing was subsequently adjourned and rescheduled to May 13
before the undersigned.
13, the undersigned held the detention and preliminary
hearing. Unlike the jury trial the week prior, J.M. appeared
at this hearing and testified. In addition, the undersigned
heard testimony from FBI Special Agent John Fortunato, U.S.
Probation Officer Matt Luce, and Defendant's
are two issues before the undersigned. First, the undersigned
must determine whether there is probable cause that Defendant
committed the alleged supervised release violations. Second,
the undersigned must determine whether Defendant should be
released or detained pending the resolution of the supervised
release violation petition.
32.1(b)(1)(A) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
provides that a magistrate judge must promptly conduct a
hearing to determine whether there is probable cause to
believe that a violation occurred.
case, the undersigned finds that there is probable cause to
believe that the violations occurred. This finding is
primarily based on the testimony of J.M., as the undersigned
finds J.M.'s testimony to be reasonably credible. J.M.
testified about the domestic assault that occurred in July
2018, and the sexual assault that occurred in August 2018.
She also testified about her relationship with Defendant.
They have three children together including twins that were
born in July 2018. J.M. was the victim in at least two of
Defendant's prior domestic assault convictions. At the
hearing, J.M. was able to recount the domestic assault in
July 2018 and the sexual assault in August 2018 with
defense counsel proffered that she has plenty of witnesses
who could establish that J.M. is not credible, those
witnesses and the substance of their purported testimony were
not presented at the hearing. J.M. showed up at this hearing
and testified about the assaults, and the undersigned finds
her testimony to be credible. Therefore, the ...