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United States v. Romero

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

December 12, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CARL ROMERO, Defendant.

ANNETTE L. HAYES, Acting United States Attorney, STEPHEN P. HOBBS, Special Assistant United States Attorney, Seattle, WA.

ORDER CONTINUING TRIAL DATE AND GOVERNING SPEEDY TRIAL ACT COMPUTATION

MARSHA J. PECHMAN, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Comes now the United States of America, by Annette L. Hayes, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, and Erin H. Becker, Assistant United States Attorney, and Stephen Hobbs, Special Assistant United States Attorney for said District, and submits this proposed Order Continuing Trial Date and Governing Speedy Trial Act Computation in the above-captioned matter.

II. FINDINGS OF FACT

1. On December 17, 2012, defendant Carl Romero was arrested by federal agents in connection with the above-captioned matter. Dkt. 1.

2. That same day, the defendant made an initial appearance on a complaint charging one count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922, before Magistrate Judge Dean Brett. Dkt. 3.

3. On December 27, 2012, the defendant was arraigned on an indictment based upon the same offense conduct as charged in the complaint. Dkt. 14. The defendant entered a plea of not guilty. Id. Presiding over the arraignment, Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler set the case for trial on February 25, 2013, 60 days later. Id.

4. On February 6, 2013, the Court granted a stipulated motion by the parties to continue the trial date to May 13, 2013. Dkt. 24. Based upon the stipulated submission by the parties, the Court found that a failure to grant would deny counsel the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation, taking into account the exercise of due diligence, within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(B)(iv). Id. The Court further found that found that the ends of justice would be served by ordering a continuance in this case; that a continuance was necessary to ensure adequate time for defense investigation, effective trial preparation and an opportunity for the defendant to benefit from his efforts; and that these factors outweigh the best interests of the public in a more speedy trial, within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A). Id. For these reasons, the Court excluded the period from February 25, 2013, through May 13, 2013, from a computation pursuant to the Speedy Trial Act, 18. U.S.C. § 3161 et seq. Id.

5. On April 1, 2013, the Court granted simultaneous motions by Mr. Stansell to withdraw from representation and by the defendant to proceed pro se. Dkt. 30.

6. On May 13, 2013, the Government appeared with its witnesses, and was ready for trial. That same day, the Court terminated the defendant's right to self-representation over the defendant's objection. Dkt. 54. The Court found that since April 1, 2013, the defendant's courtroom behavior reflected either an unwillingness or inability to follow the Court's directives, justifying the appointment of counsel notwithstanding the defendant's wishes. Dkt. 65. Accordingly, the Court did not commence trial, and adjourned the matter to May 24, 2013, in order to have new counsel appointed. Dkt. 54. The appointment of counsel required the Court to find two individual attorneys; one to accompany the defendant at all times, even if the defendant were removed from the courtroom, and the other to remain in the courtroom to conduct the business of trial at all times during the proceeding. Id. In addition, Mr. Stansell could not be re-appointed as counsel, in light of Mr. Stansell's prior withdrawal. See Dkt. 30. The Court excluded the period from May 13, 2013 to the next court date from a speedy trial computation. Dkt. 58 (Tr., p. 23, lns. 21-24).

7. On May 16, 2013, the Court set a status hearing for May 24, 2013. Dkt. 57.

8. On May 16, 2013, the Court appointed Gilbert Henry Levy, Esq., and Richard L. Warner, Esq., as counsel for the defendant. Dkts. 55-56.

9. On May 24, 2013, defense counsel moved for a continuance of the trial date in order to conduct an investigation into the defendant's competency to stand trial, and to allow adequate time to prepare for trial. Dkt. 60. The Court granted this ...


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