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United States v. McKown

United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division

January 6, 2020, Decided; January 6, 2020, Filed

CAUSE NO.: 2:16-CR-178-2-TLS-JEM

Opinion

OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the Court on the government's Motion for Trial Testimony by Two-Way Video Conference [ECF No. 140]. The government seeks to have two witnesses, Dorothy Hardesty and Dorothea Wolfe, testify against Defendant George R. McKown remotely. The government represents that this motion is unopposed, and that Defendant waives "any Sixth Amendment issues relating to the confrontation clause." Mot. for Trial Test. at 1, ECF No. 140. Defendant has not responded within the allotted time to dispute this, making this matter ripe for ruling. For the reasons stated below, this Motion is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

Defendant has been indicted on charges arising out of an alleged scheme to defraud investors. See Indictment, ECF No. 1. This matter is set for trial [*2]  on January 27, 2020. Scheduling Order, ECF No. 103. The following background is alleged by the government and the Court accepts as true for the purposes of this motion only.

Both Mrs. Hardesty and Ms. Wolfe desire to testify at trial, but both live in Florida. Mot. for Trial Test. at 1, ECF No. 140. Mrs. Hardesty is 98 years old, blind, and hard of hearing, and due to her age and health conditions she is not capable of traveling to the Northern District of Indiana to testify in person. Id. at 1-2. Ms. Wolfe is Mrs. Hardesty's daughter and primary caregiver, and she cannot travel to the Northern District of Indiana to testify in person because of her caregiving responsibilities to her mother. Id. The government seeks to have these two witnesses testify at trial remotely via two-way video the United States District Court in the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division. Id. at 6.

ANALYSIS

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2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1293 *

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, v. GEORGE R. MCKOWN, Defendant.

Prior History: United States v. Gearhart, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 223683 (N.D. Ind., Dec. 18, 2019)

CORE TERMS

video, confrontation clause, remotely, two-way, confrontation, reliability, witnesses