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United States v. Brewington

United States District Court, D. Colorado

April 9, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
1. KENNETH BREWINGTON, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING ENDS OF JUSTICE CONTINUANCE

PHILIP A. BRIMMER, District Judge.

The matter is before me on Defendant's Unopposed Motion to Vacate All Current Deadlines, Vacate the Current Trial Date, and Exclude 180 Days From the Speedy Trial Act [Docket No. 24], wherein defendant requests that the Court exclude 180 days from the Speedy Trial period and continue the motions deadline and trial set in this case. The motion indicates that the United States does not oppose the req uest. Id. at 6.

The trial in this matter is currently set for May 18, 2015; motions are due on or before April 13, 2015. I find that, conservatively, 50 days remain in the Speedy Trial Act period based on defendant's initial appearance in this District on March 11, 2015.

Defendant's motion implicates the Speedy Trial Act of 1974, codified at 18 U.S.C. §§ 3161-3174. Specifically, the motion implicates 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h), which provides in relevant part:

The following periods of delay shall be excluded... in computing the time within which the trial of any such offense must commence:
....
(7)(A) Any period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by any judge... at the request of the defendant or his counsel or at the request of the attorney for the Government, if the judge granted such continuance on the basis of his findings that the ends of justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.

18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

The Speedy Trial Act serves two distinct interests: first, to protect a defendant's right to a speedy indictment and trial, and second, to serve the public interest in ensuring prompt criminal prosecutions. United States v. Williams, 511 F.3d 1044, 1047 (10th Cir. 2007). The Act requires that a defendant's trial commence within 70 days after his indictment or initial appearance, whichever is later. See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1); Zedner v. United States, 547 U.S. 489, 497 (2006). Certain periods of delay are excluded and do not count toward the 70-day limit. See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(1)-(8). Specifically, "the Act excludes any period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by any judge... on the basis of its findings that the ends of justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.'" United States v. Hill, 197 F.3d 436, 440-41 (10th Cir. 1999) (quoting former 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(8)(A)).

In order for a continuance to qualify as an excludable "ends-of-justice" continuance under § 3161(h)(7)(A), certain prerequisites must be satisfied. Id. at 441. First, I must consider the following factors listed in § 3161(h)(7)(B):

(i) Whether the failure to grant such a continuance in the proceeding would be likely to make a continuation of such proceeding impossible, or result in a miscarriage of justice;
(ii) Whether the case is so unusual or so complex, due to the number of defendants, the nature of the prosecution, or the existence of novel questions of fact or law, that it is unreasonable to expect adequate preparation for pretrial proceedings or for the trial itself within the time limits established by [the Act];
(iii) Whether, in a case in which arrest precedes indictment, delay in the filing of the indictment is caused because the arrest occurs at a time such that it is unreasonable to expect return and filing of the indictment within the period specified in section 3161(b), or because the facts upon which the grand jury must base its determination are unusual or complex;
(iv) Whether the failure to grant such a continuance in a case which, taken as a whole, is not so unusual or so complex as to fall within clause (ii), would deny the defendant reasonable time to obtain counsel, would unreasonably deny the defendant or the Government continuity of counsel, or would deny counsel for the defendant or the attorney for the Government the ...

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