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United States v. Butner

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

November 9, 2018

UNITED STATE OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JASON BUTNER, Defendant.

          Mallory Gagan Attorney at Law Attorney for Defendant

          Presiliano A. Torrez United States Attorney's Office Attorney for Plaintiff

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          MARTHA V. ÁZQUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Indictment with Prejudice for Violations of Sixth Amendment Speedy Trial Right and the Speedy Trial Act. Doc. 21. The government timely filed a Response on October 15, 2018 [Doc. 24], and the defense replied on October 29, 2018 [Doc. 26]. The Court, having considered the motion, briefs, relevant law, and being otherwise fully informed, finds that the motion is well-taken and will be GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         On July 9, 2016, Jason Butner (“Defendant”) was arrested by state authorities on a warrant for a parole violation and booked in the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC). Doc. 21 at 1. On July 29, 2016, he was released from MDC to the New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) on a parole retake. Doc. 21 at 1, Def. Ex. A at 2. On January 12, 2017, the United States indicted Mr. Butner on one count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). Doc. 2.

         Mr. Butner was in the custody of NMCD at the time of the federal indictment and remained in NMCD custody until January 11, 2018. Doc. 21 at 2, Def. Ex. B. When released, a detainer and warrants check showed no pending charges. Doc. 21 at 2, Def. Ex. C.

         On February 17, 2018, Defendant was arrested by state authorities on new state charges. Defendant was held without bond at MDC. Doc. 21 at 2, Def. Ex. D.

         On June 29, 2018, a writ was issued for his transfer to federal custody. Doc. 7. Two weeks later, on July 10, 2018, the federal indictment was unsealed and Mr. Butner was arrested by federal authorities. Doc. 21 at 2. He was arraigned on the federal charges on July 12, 2018. Doc. 12.

         DISCUSION

         Defendant argues that dismissal is warranted because the government violated the Speedy Trial Act and the Sixth Amendment. Doc. 21. The government denies these allegations. Doc. 24. Because the Court finds a violation of Defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial, it need not address Defendant's argument that the government violated the Speedy Trial Act.

         I. Sixth Amendment Speedy Trial

         The Sixth Amendment guarantees that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy . . . trial.” U.S. Const. amend. VI. The remedy for a speedy trial violation is dismissal of the case. United States v. Margheim, 770 F.3d 1312, 1325 (10th Cir. 2014). In Barker v. Wingo, the Supreme Court identified four factors that courts must assess in determining whether the right to a speedy trial has been violated. 407 U.S. 514 (1972). These factors are (1) the length of delay, (2) the reason for the delay, (3) the defendant's assertion of his right, and (4) prejudice to the defendant. Id. at 530. “No one factor is necessary or sufficient to conclude a violation has occurred.” United States v. Toombs, 574 F.3d 1262, 1274 (10th Cir. 2009). Instead, the court must consider all of the factors together “along with other relevant circumstances.” Id.

         a. Le ...


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