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United States v. Allen

United States District Court for the District of the Virgin Islands, Division of St. Croix

August 30, 2012, Decided; August 30, 2012, Filed

Criminal Action No. 2011-027

Opinion

MEMORANDUM OPINION

THIS MATTER comes before the Court on the Government's three Notices of Defendant Allen's unavailability for trial, (Dkt. Nos. 135, 143, 158), and Defendant Allen's three responses, (Dkt. Nos. 137, 159, 164), regarding Defendant Allen's quarantine at the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center which extended through his July 30, 2012 and August 22, 2012 trial dates. After continuing the July 30, 2012 trial until August 22, 2012, (Dkt. Nos. 144, 155), on August 21, 2012, the Court continued the August 22, 2012 trial “based on the conclusion that the ends of justice outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.” See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A) (Dkt. No. 174). By this Memorandum Opinion, the Court records its findings underlying the “ends of justice” continuance embodied in the Court's August 21, 2012 Order. (Dkt. No. 174).  [*2] See, e.g. United States v. Brooks, 697 F.2d 517, 522 (3d Cir. 1982) (“The language of the statute [the Speedy Trial Act] does not specify when the court's findings must be recorded, and the purposes of the statute are satisfied by a subsequent articulation.”).

I. Factual Background

Defendants Charles Boyd Allen, III and Dondrae Demas Johnson were indicted on November 15, 2011. 1 Defendant Allen first appeared before the Court on January 11, 2012, (Dkt. No. 13), and Defendant Johnson first appeared before the Court on February 13, 2012, (Dkt. No. 40). 2

Trial in this matter was originally scheduled for June 18, 2012. On May 18, 2012, the Government filed a motion to continue the trial on the grounds that its essential witnesses were unavailable on this date. The Government represented that “[c]ounsels for Charles Boyd Allen (Attorney Emile Henderson) and Dondrae Demas Johnson (Attorney Natalie Nelson Tang-How) have represented to the Government that they have no objections to the trial in this matter being continued to the week of July 23, 2012.” (Dkt. No. 106 at 1). On May 18, 2012, the Court granted the Government's unopposed Motion to continue the June 18, 2012 trial, (Dkt. No. 107), and the trial was subsequently re-scheduled for July 30, 2012.

On July 20, 2012, the Government filed its “Notice of Defendant Charles Allen's Availability for Trial,” (Dkt. No. 135), in which it represented that Defendant Allen had “been exposed to chickenpox while detained at Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center” and that Defendant Allen would be under quarantine until August  [*4] 9, 2012. Id. at 1. The Government requested “that the Court issue an Order indicating if it intends to proceed with trial on July 30, 2012.” Id.

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2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123487 *; 2012 WL 3763910

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, v. CHARLES BOYD ALLEN III and DONDRAE DEMAS JOHNSON, Defendants.

Subsequent History: Count dismissed at, Motion denied by, in part United States v. Allen, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142351 (D.V.I., Oct. 2, 2012)

CORE TERMS

continuance, quarantine, speedy trial, ends of justice, Notice, varicella, scheduled, best interest, preparation, chickenpox, indictment, outweigh, reasons, virus, speedy trial right, criminal trial, documents, speedy