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United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division
November 23, 2009, Decided; November 23, 2009, Filed
[*697] ORDER ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS INDICTMENT FOR VIOLATION OF THE SEPARATION OF POWERS
Before the Court is Defendant Dale Mardis's ("Defendant") Motion to Dismiss Indictment for Violation of the Separation of Powers filed on March 10, 2009. (D.E. # 128.) The Government filed its response in opposition on March 25, 2009, and Defendant filed a reply two days later on March 27th. The Court then referred this motion to the United States Magistrate Judge for a report and recommendation. On July 21, 2009, the Magistrate Judge recommended denial of Defendant's motion. (D.E. # 179.) Defendant filed his objections to the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation on August 4, 2009. For the reasons stated herein, the Court OVERRULES Defendant's objections, ADOPTS the Magistrate [**2] Judge's report and recommendation, and DENIES Defendant's motion.
A. General Factual Background
In 2001, a federal grand jury in the Western District of Tennessee convened to investigate the disappearance of Mickey Wright, a Memphis and Shelby County Codes Enforcement Officer. A task force comprising federal and local law enforcement agencies uncovered evidence indicating that Mr. Wright disappeared on April 17, 2001 and that his last known location was on property owned by Defendant in Memphis, Tennessee. While there, Mr. Wright appears to have written a "courtesy" citation as part of his duties.
This first federal grand jury ultimately did not return charges against any individuals. State authorities investigated the matter while federal prosecutors held in abeyance further investigation of potential violations of federal law. After concluding its investigation, the State of Tennessee indicted Defendant for first degree murder and sought the death penalty. In the week before Defendant's state court trial was to commence, Defendant and the State of Tennessee reached a tentative plea deal whereby Defendant would plead nolo contendere to second degree murder and serve a sentence [**3] of 13.5 years incarceration. After Defendant's attorney contacted the U.S. Attorney's Office concerning potential federal charges, Defendant agreed to a sentence of 15 years in order to resolve a contemplated federal firearms charge.
Accordingly, on April 5, 2007, Defendant entered a nolo contendere plea to the charge of second degree murder in the Criminal Court for Shelby County (Tennessee) and was sentenced to 15 years in prison to be served at 100%. The prosecutor for the State of Tennessee required as a condition of the plea agreement that Defendant reveal what happened to Mr. Wright's body so that his family might obtain some sense of closure. To satisfy this requirement, Defendant's attorney handwrote a note describing the disposition of Mr. Wright's remains. The note does not mention Defendant or how Defendant's attorney obtained the information.
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670 F. Supp. 2d 696 *; 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109112 **
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. DALE MARDIS, Defendant.
Subsequent History: Affirmed by United States v. Mardis, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 6951, 2010 FED App. 89P (6th Cir.) (6th Cir. Tenn., 2010)
Prior History: United States v. Mardis, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109110 (W.D. Tenn., July 21, 2009)
separation of powers, constituent, report and recommendation, agencies, powers, indictment, charges, member of congress, grand jury, murder, federal prosecution, executive branch, allegations, proceedings, website, courts
Constitutional Law, Separation of Powers, Administrative Law, Formal Adjudicatory Procedure, Impartial Decisionmaker, Participation in Prosecution, Criminal Law & Procedure, Grand Juries, Indictments, Prosecutorial Powers, Congressional Duties & Powers, Bills of Attainder & Ex Post Facto Clause, Bills of Attainder