United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
matter comes before the Court upon Defendant's request
that attorney Brandon Lettunich no longer represent him in
this matter. As a result, Mr. Lettunich filed an opposed
motion to withdraw. (Doc. 75). On September 5, 2019, the
Court held a hearing on the motion, at which Defendant
appeared with Mr. Lettunich, and Kris Jarvis appeared for the
United States and voiced no position on the motion. Having
considered the statements of counsel, Defendant's
statements, the history of this case, and the applicable law,
the Court grants the motion. In doing so, the Court makes the
following findings and conclusions as well as those stated on
the record at the hearing:
October 26, 2018, Defendant was charged by criminal complaint
with the criminal immigration offense, Reentry after
Deportation, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a) and (b).
Court appointed Assistant Federal Public Defender, Andre
Poissant, to represent Defendant, who is indigent.
November 5, 2018, the Magistrate Judge held a preliminary
hearing and found probable cause to believe Defendant
committed the offense charged.
November 14, 2018, the Grand Jury returned an indictment,
charging Defendant with the same offense, specifically 8
U.S.C. § 1326(a) and (b), Reentry of a Removed Alien.
Court set the matter for a jury trial on January 14, 2019.
December 14, 2018, Mr. Poissant filed a motion to withdraw,
(Doc. 16), stating Defendant requested another attorney be
appointed, and expressed "concerns regarding undersigned
counsel representing him." The Court granted the motion,
(Doc. 17), and appointed attorney Brock Benjamin to represent
Defendant, (Doc. 18).
After originally resetting the jury trial for April 15, 2019,
the Court again reset the trial for April 9, 2019, without
objection from Defendant or counsel.
April 9, 2019, the Court held a hearing on multiple pre-trial
motions, including motions in limine. Afterward, and based at
least in part on the rulings of the Court, Defendant opted to
waive his right to a jury trial and instead proceeded with a
Court ultimately found Defendant guilty of the offense
charged, (Doc. 58).
June 6, 2019, Defendant sent a letter to the Court, (Doc.
78), requesting the return of certain documents.
July 10, 2019, Defendant filed a hand-written document the
Court construed as a motion for new counsel, (Doc. 61), in
which Defendant stated specific concerns with his attorney.
Defendant attached a "Motion to Vacate Decision by
District Court Pursuant on Unfair trial and Vindication of
Sixth Const. Amend, 3006(A), and Fifth Const. Amend"
(Motion to Vacate Decision) (Doc. 62).
July 12, 2019, Mr. Benjamin filed a motion to withdraw, (Doc.
63), in which he stated Defendant "did not want to be
represented by him and that he should withdraw, .... [T]his
motion to withdraw [is] based on the request of his
July 23, 2019, the Court held a hearing on the motion to
withdraw and, after hearing from counsel and Defendant,
granted the motion. On the same date, the Court ...