IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
September 22, 2006
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
ARAFAT NIJMEH, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, District Judge
This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Continue Trial (Doc. 25). Defendant states that the Government has no objection to a continuance of the current trial setting of September 25, 2006. Defendant requests a continuance because of two pending motions he has filed in this matter -- a Motion to Suppress Statements (Doc. 21) and a Motion to Dismiss the Indictment (Doc. 24). As these motions were recently filed, the Government has not yet responded, therefore they are not ripe for determination. Further, Defendant anticipates a need for an evidentiary hearing regarding these motions.
Considering whether to grant the continuance, the Court notes that the trial setting has been continued only once before, due to conducting a competency exam and hearing for Defendant. The two pre-trial motions filed by Defendant involve integral issues in this case and therefore, there is a great need to properly allow time for the Government to respond and possibly conduct a hearing. A determination of either motion in Defendant's favor could result in either a dismissal of the charges or could substantially limit the Government's evidence it can introduce at trial. Thus, failure to properly consider all the issues addressed in these motions due to the need to conduct this trial on September 25, 2006 would result in a miscarriage of justice.
For the above state reasons, the Court finds that pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(8)(A), the ends of justice served by the granting of such continuance outweigh the best interests of the public and Defendant in a speedy trial. Therefore, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Continue (Doc. 25). The Court CONTINUES the JURY TRIAL scheduled for Monday, September 25, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. to Monday, October 30, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. The time from the date the original Motion to Continue (Doc. 25) was filed, September 20, 2006, until the date to which the trial is rescheduled, October 30, 2006, is EXCLUDABLE TIME for the purposes of speedy trial.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
David R Herndon United States District Judge
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