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United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
March 13, 2017, Decided; March 13, 2017, Filed
No. S9 13 CR 521-LTS
Memorandum Opinion and Order
On December 13, 2016, this Court issued an Opinion and Order granting, in part, Defendants' motion to dismiss the S9 Superseding Indictment (the "Indictment"). (Docket entry no. 376 (the "December Opinion").) The Government now seeks reconsideration of the aspect of the December Opinion that granted Defendants' motion to dismiss Counts One and Two of the Indictment, which charged a conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire, respectively, [*2] in violation of Section 1958(a) of Title 18 of the United States Code. United States v. Samia, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172224, 2016 WL 7223410, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 13, 2016) (Swain, J.). The Court has considered the submissions of both parties carefully and, for the reasons that follow, grants the Government's motion for reconsideration and, on reconsideration, reinstates Counts One and Two of the Indictment.
The Court assumes the parties' familiarity with the relevant facts of this case, which are summarized in the December Opinion, and this memorandum opinion therefore sets forth only the factual and procedural history relevant to the disposition of the instant motion.
Counts One and Two of the Indictment charged both Defendants with violations of 18 U.S.C. section 1958(a), which requires, in relevant part, that Defendants have used a facility of interstate or foreign commerce "with intent that a murder be committed in violation of the laws of any State or the United States." The Indictment alleges that the Defendants traveled in foreign commerce in connection with the murder of Catherine Lee, a non-U.S. national, in the Phillippines. See Samia, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172224, 2016 WL 7223410, at *1.
On August 19, 2016, Defendant Stillwell moved, inter alia, to dismiss Counts One and Two of the Indictment. (Docket entry no. 345.) In his memorandum of law in support of the motion, Stillwell argued that Section 1958 should [*3] not be read to have extraterritorial effect (i.e, application in connection with a murder that allegedly took place outside of the United States). In the course of making that argument, which the motion characterized as a "jurisdictional" challenge, Stillwell noted that "[d]espite Section 1958's reference to a murder in violation of any of the laws of the United States, the Government has identified no other homicide statute to close this jurisdictional loophole." (Docket entry no. 346, Mem. of Law in Support of Motion to Dismiss, p. 13 n. 8.) Defendant Samia later joined the motion. In response, the Government asserted that the Indictment sufficiently alleged violations of Section 1958 because it alleged that Defendants possessed "the intent to commit a murder in violation of Section 956," which the Government described as "the object murder offense." (Docket entry no. 349, Mem. of Law in Opposition, p. 15.)
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2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35635 *; 2017 WL 980333
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -v- ADAM SAMIA and CARL DAVID STILLWELL, Defendants.
Subsequent History: Decision reached on appeal by, Remanded by United States v. Soborski, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17459 (2d Cir., Sept. 11, 2017)
Prior History: United States v. Samia, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172224 (S.D.N.Y., Dec. 13, 2016)
murder, Indictment, conspiracy, reconsideration, travel, rea, reconsideration motion, docket entry, motion to dismiss, violation of law, commerce