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United States v. Sturgeon

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


September 28, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARTIN STURGEON, JR., GREGORY L. STURGEON, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge

ORDER

Before the Court are two motions to continue trial filed by Defendants Martin Sturgeon, Jr. (Doc. 31) and Gregory L. Sturgeon (Doc. 32). The Government has no objections to either motion to continue. Defendant Martin Sturgeon argues that he is engaged in plea negotiations but needs additional time to complete negotiations. Forcing the parties to trial on a case that appears to have great potential to resolve amicably would be a great miscarriage of justice. Further, Defendant Gregory L. Sturgeon asks that the trial be continued as his counsel is scheduled to be in another trial in this district on the same date as the above captioned matter. The Court finds that the trial should be postpone in order to allow Defendant's current counsel the opportunity to represent Defendant. Further, failure to grant a continuance would unreasonably deny Defendant continuity of counsel. In addition, the Court finds that pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161 (h)(7)(A), the ends of justice served by the granting of such a continuance outweigh the best interests of the public and all defendants in a speedy trial.

Therefore, the Court GRANTS Defendant Martin Sturgeon, Jr.'s Motion to Continue Trial (Doc. 31) and Defendant Gregory L. Sturgeon's Motion for Continuance of Trial Date (Doc. 32). The Court CONTINUES the jury trial as to both Defendants currently scheduled for October 5, 2009 until November 2, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. The continuance applies to both 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, 117 L.Ed. 2d 432 (1992)). The time from the date Defendant's motion was filed, September 25, 2009, until the date on which the trial is rescheduled, November 2, 2009, is excludable for purposes of a speedy trial.

Should either party believe that a witness will be required to travel on the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS) in order to testify at the trial of this case, a writ should be requested at least two months in advance.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

David R Herndon Chief Judge United States District Court

20090928

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