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United States v. Wilson
United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
October 29, 2019
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
D7, CHRISTOPHER WILSON Defendant.
ORDER DENYING RENEWED MOTION FOR BOND (ECF No.
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Christopher Wilson is charged with several serious felony
offenses related to his alleged involvement in a drug
distribution conspiracy. (See 4th Superseding
Indictment, ECF No. 149.) Magistrate Judge Davis ordered that
Wilson be detained pending trial, (Detention Order, ECF No.
42), and on June 20, 2019, this Court denied a motion by
Wilson to revoke the Detention Order entered by Magistrate
Judge Davis. (See Order Denying Mot. for Bond and
Revocation of Detention Order, ECF No. 101.)
Court offered the following explanation for its refusal to
vacate the Detention Order:
This is a de novo review of Judge Davis' detention order
and the question I have to answer is, is there a condition or
combination of conditions that will reasonably assure Mr.
Wilson's appearance and the safety of any person and the
community. And the factors that I have to consider are set
forth in Title 18, United States Code, Section 3142(g), and
let me touch on each of those factors here.
The first factor I have to consider [is] the nature and
circumstances of the offense charged, including whether the
offense involved a firearm. And even though this is not the
most serious drug offense that I've seen charged here, I
do share Mr. Rawsthorne's view that a drug conspiracy
with a mandatory minimum of five years is a serious offense
and the conduct alleged here is quite serious. And while the
charge itself doesn't involve a firearm, the underlying
conduct does seem to have involved a firearm. There's
evidence presented by Mr. Rawsthorne, both photos of Mr.
Wilson with firearms, but more importantly, evidence of
witness statements and these text messages and recorded
calls, that suggest that firearms were involved in this
course of conduct.
The next factor is the weight of the evidence [of
dangerousness] against the person. And as the Sixth Circuit
tells us, this is not the weight of the evidence of guilt but
the weight of the evidence of dangerousness. And here, I
think the weight of evidence of dangerousness in contrast to
the record that was presented to Judge Davis, does - the
evidence is substantial that Mr. Wilson poses a danger. I was
quite concerned when I read the numerous witness statements
that seemed to reflect a theme of Mr. Wilson's
willingness to use or direct violence in order to achieve
goals that he had set for himself, including avoiding folks
cooperating with the police or doing things that he did not
want done. Mr. Rawsthorne sets forth eight witness statements
and many of them indicate again, Mr. Wilson using or
directing violence. And I thought that was, in my view,
substantial evidence of dangerousness.
I also have to consider Mr. Wilson's history and
characteristics, his physical and mental condition, family
ties, employment, financial resources, length of residence in
the community, community ties, past conduct, history relating
to drug or alcohol abuse, criminal history[, ] and record
concerning court proceedings. And here, there is some
evidence that weighs in favor of Mr. Wilson. He does seem to
have long-term ties to Flint. He has a lot of family and
community support here. He had letters from upstanding
members of the community vouching for him. And his criminal
record, in the big scheme of things, is, standing alone, not
a huge concern. So that third factor to me is kind of a push.
It doesn't weigh so much in favor of one or the other.
Mr. Rawsthorne did raise concerns about some of Mr.
Wilson's past conduct but ultimately, that [factor] to
me, number three, doesn't weigh particularly heavy in one
direction or the other.
One additional element I guess of this third factor is
whether, at the time of the current offense, Mr. Wilson was
on other release pending trial. And Mr. Rawsthorne points out
that for some substantial period of the alleged criminal
conduct here, Mr. Wilson was on release in connection with
state court criminal proceedings. And Mr. Rawsthorne has
presented evidence that while on release, Mr. Wilson was
traveling to and from other states, including Tennessee, and
engaging in drug dealing. And that aspect of factor number
three would weigh, certainly, in favor of detention.
The fourth factor is the nature and seriousness of the danger
to any person or persons in the community that would be posed
by Mr. Wilson's release. And the evidence that Mr.
Rawsthorne has presented persuades me that the type of danger
I'm concerned about here is a serious danger to the
health and safety of folks. I am persuaded that there's
reason to believe that the danger posed could conceivably
threaten somebody's life given the materials that Mr.
Rawsthorne has presented.
So to be clear, I think that Miss Maceroni did present
evidence sufficient to rebut the presumption on both points.
She presented the letters from folks who attested to his
character and non-dangerousness and his community ties[, ]
which are some evidence that he's not a risk of flight.
But ultimately, I find that the government has carried its
ultimate burden of persuasion and proof on both points. I
think the Government has shown by clear and convincing
evidence that there is not a condition or set of conditions
that would reasonably assure the safety of persons in the
community. And by a preponderance of evidence, that there is
no set of conditions that would assure his appearance.
With respect to that point, I'm particularly concerned
about the conversation with Mr. McCullough about, for lack of
a better term, manipulation of the prior tether conditions
and non-compliance with prior bond conditions by at a
minimum, committing criminal offenses. So I'm not
comfortable that any condition of - any set of conditions
would reasonably assure his appearance or the safety of the
So while I think that Miss Maceroni presented as strong a
case as can be presented here, and while I appreciate and
very much respect the position that she asserted here, I will
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