IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
February 12, 2008
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
ALMONTIE SHIELDS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge
This matter comes before the Court on two Motions to Continue Trial, one filed by defendant Aaron Molton (Doc. 329), the other by defendant Roosevelt Johnson, III (Doc. 331). Currently, this multi-defendant trial is set for February 25, 2008. Both of these Defendants move for a continuance to allow additional time to attempt to successfully conclude ongoing plea negotiations. The Government has not opposed this request.
Every defendant facing criminal charges has a right to a trial by jury or to plead to those charges. If the Court were to deny a continuance in the light of the ongoing plea negotiations, this could severely impact the outcome of these discussions, thereby resulting in a miscarriage of justice. See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(8)(B)(i). Therefore, the Court finds that a continuance is necessary. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(8)(A), the Court finds that the ends of justice served by the granting of such continuance outweigh the best interests of the public and Defendants in a speedy trial. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motions to Continue (Docs. 329 & 331). The Court notes that remaining co-defendants (who have not plead guilty) have not moved for a severance. Thus, a continuance of trial applies to all remaining co-defendants. United States v. Baker, 40 F.3d 154, 159 (7th Cir. 1994)("'Under § 3161(h)(7), the excludable delay of one defendant may be ascribed to all co-defendants in the same case, absent severance.'")(quoting United States v. Tanner, 941 F.2d 574, 580 (7th Cir.1991), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 1102, 112 S.Ct. 1190 (1992)).
The Court hereby CONTINUES the JURY TRIAL scheduled for February 25, 2008 to Monday, May 5, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. The time from the date these two Motions to Continue (Docs. 329 & 331) were filed, February 11, 2008, until the date the trial is rescheduled, May 5, 2008, is excludable time for the purposes of speedy trial.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed this 12th day of February, 2008.
David R Herndon Chief Judge United States District Court
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