The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joel Schneider United States Magistrate Judge
This matter is before the Court on defendant's "Motion to Vacate Complex Case Designation." Defendant's motion asks the court to vacate its May 4 and 6, 2010 Orders and not to exclude from Speedy Trial Act computations the time subsequent to these Orders. The Court received the government's opposition and recently held oral argument. For the reasons to be discussed, defendant's motion is DENIED.
On January 8, 2009, a criminal complaint was issued charging defendant with knowingly and willfully using and carrying a firearm (9mm handgun), during and in relation to a conspiracy to distribute and possess crack cocaine. The complaint alleges that during the course of the offense defendant shot and murdered Brian Parker with malice aforethought. After the complaint was issued defendant was arrested and his initial appearance was held on January 12, 2009.
At his initial appearance, Michael E. Riley, Esquire was appointed as defendant's counsel and defendant was temporarily detained pending his bail hearing. Defendant consented to detention on January 16, 2009. On January 29, 2009, the Court appointed Jean D. Barrett, Esquire, as defendant's co-counsel pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3005 as she is "learned in the law applicable to capital cases." Defendant was advised at his initial appearance that he faced the possibility of a death sentence but that the decision had not yet been made whether to seek the death penalty. See January 12, 2009 Transcript ("Tr.") at 7:13-19.
With the joint consent of the parties, five continuances were entered excluding the time under the Speedy Trial Act pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(7)(A).*fn1 Other continuances have been imposed pursuant to statutory requirements. A summary of all continuances is as follows:*fn2
Docket Date Order Entered Excluded Dates Authority No. 11 January 16, 2009 January 16 to Ends of Justice April 17, 2009 18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(8)(A) 15 April 8, 2009 April 8 to June Ends of Justice 17, 2009 18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(8)(A)
Docket Date Order Entered Excluded Dates Authority No. 17 June 16, 2009 June 16 to Ends of Justice September 17, 2009 18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(7)(A) 18 August 7 to Outstanding September 16, 2009 Motion-18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(1)(D) 20 September 16, 2009 September 16 to Ends of Justice December 18, 2009 18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(7)(A) 21 December 24, 2009 Outstanding to February 5, Motion-18 U.S.C. 2010 §3161(h)(1)(D) 24 February 5, 2010 February 5 to Ends of Justice March 9, 2010 18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(7)(A) 25 March 19 to May 4, Outstanding 2010 Motion-18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(1)(D) 28/29 May 4, 2010 May 6, 2010 to Complex Case- (amended May 6, present 18 U.S.C. 2010) §3161(h)(7)(A) and (B)(ii)
On May 4, 2010, the Court granted the "Motion of the United States for Designation as a Complex Case and Continuance Pursuant to the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(8)(B)(ii)."*fn3 The Order was entered after Mr. Riley wrote the Court on April 5, 2010 [Doc. No. 27] that he "had no objection to the government's motion declaring the Reddick matter be a complex case."
On or about August 25, 2010, defendant served his pro se
"Motion to Dismiss the Complaint." The Court held an in-person status conference on October 7, 2010 and granted defendant's request for new counsel. The Court also advised new counsel to re-file defendant's motion if defendant intended to pursue the requested relief. An Order appointing defendant's present counsel, Rocco C. Cipparone, Jr., was entered on October 12, 2010. Ms. Barrett's status as learned counsel has not changed since she was appointed on January 29, 2009.
Defendant's present motion does not object to any of the continuances or Orders in the case except for the May 4, 2010 Order. Defendant first argues that his prior counsel, Mr. Riley, did not have his consent to represent that he did not object to the designation of this matter as a complex case. Defendant contends that this invalidates the complex case Order. Second, defendant argues this is not a complex case. Third, defendant argues the alleged "open-ended" continuance in the May 4, 2010 Order was unreasonable. Although defendant is not moving at this time to dismiss the complaint, he argues that all time stemming from the complex case Order should not be excluded from the requirements of the ...