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United States v. Higgs

decided: April 5, 1984.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
WALTER M. HIGGS, ET AL. ANTOINETTE MERIDA, APPELLANT IN NO. 84-3148, AUDREY TAYLOR, APPELLANT IN NO. 84-3154, JOHN KEMP, APPELLANT IN NO. 84-3155



On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Gibbons, Hunter and Garth, Circuit Judges.

Author: Gibbons

Opinion ON MOTIONS FOR BAIL

GIBBONS, Circuit Judge.

On March 5, 1984, Antoinette Merida, Audrey Taylor, and John Kemp were convicted by a jury of conspiracy to possess and distribute heroin and of using the telephone to facilitate drug offenses. The indictment on which they were tried charged use and distribution of narcotics between November 1981 and April 1982. Following their arrest, each was released on bail pursuant to 18 U.S.C. ยง 3146 (1982). During the pendency of pre-trial proceedings, each defendant attended all scheduled hearings requiring attendance. Each appeared at trial.

Upon the return of the verdict the trial court sua sponte revoked their bail. No pre-sentence investigation was conducted. The United States made no motion for modification of the conditions of release. The district court's ruling was, with respect to each appellant, cryptic. As to Merida the court ruled:

Miss Merida, I find that you are dealing in drugs. I consider that a danger to the community, and I hereby revoke your bond.

You may take her away.

As to Audrey Taylor, the court ruled:

Miss Taylor, based upon the evidence in this case, I find that you are a user and dealer in drugs, and as such I find you to be a danger to the community, and I revoke your bond at this time. You may take her away.

As to John Kemp, the court ruled:

Mr. Kemp, I find from the evidence in this case that you are a user and dealer in drugs and thereby are a danger to the community, and I revoke your bond at this time.

Kemp's counsel pointed out that he required insulin for a diabetic condition. The court responded:

Well, we'll see to it that the Marshals bring that to the attention of the authorities at the place of incarceration, and proper medical ...


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