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United States v. Addison

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

March 12, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
SHERMAN DEVANTE ADDISON, et. al, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Frank D. Whitney, Chief United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Government's Motion for Proposed Trial Groupings (Doc. No. 813), several Defendants' motions to continue trial, and several pretrial motions regarding discovery issues filed by multiple Defendants. The Court finds it appropriate to issue one case-wide order ruling on the administrative motions regarding trial groupings and trial continuances. Moreover, this combined order is appropriate because the pretrial motions regarding discovery are related, and because the Court wants to ensure counsel for all Defendants abide by this case's standard criminal discovery order.

         First, as to the Government's Motion for Proposed Trial Groupings (Doc. No. 813), the Court notes it has discussed the merits and objections to this motion during several status conferences, including those held on October 25, 2017; December 4, 2017; and January 31, 2018. The Court issues this written ruling in order to memorialize the oral rulings issued during those status conferences. Accordingly, the Government's Motion for Proposed Trial Groupings (Doc. No. 813) is GRANTED subject to any modifications made during the status conferences. In so ruling, the Court DENIES the motion to sever filed by Defendant Mitchell (Doc. No. 968).[1]

         Furthermore, the Court reserves its right to modify or combine the trial groupings for purposes of judicial economy. In light of this ruling, the Court also DENIES Defendants' Motions “for Disclosure of Codefendants to be Joined at Trial and for Clarification of Trial Date” (Doc. No. 1149, 1169). The trial groupings and trial settings will be further addressed during the Court's status conference set for March 19, 2018.

         Next, the Court turns to several motions to continue trial in this matter, many of which have also been the subject of the Court's oral rulings during the status conferences identified above. This Order serves to memorialize those rulings on the docket. For the reasons stated in open Court noting that the ends of justice are served by continuing trial, the Court GRANTS the following motions to continue (Docs. Nos. 882, 887, 958, 970, 986, 987, 994, 1017, 1025) and DENIES Defendant Gilmore's “Motion for Speedy Trial and Objection to Continuance” (Docs. Nos. 995, 1018).

         Finally, several Defendants have filed motions seeking a Court order compelling the Government to produce certain materials in discovery. Rule 16 generally governs discovery in criminal cases and requires the Government to “make available to the defendant any requested items that are ‘material to preparing the defense.'” United States v. Caro, 597 F.3d 608, 621 (4th Cir. 2010) (quoting Fed. R. Crim.P. 16(a)(1)(E)(i).)

         Specifically, Defendants move the Court to compel the Government to comply with its obligations under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972), and their progeny. Defendants also seek evidence the Government intends to offer at trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). As the Government notes in response to these motions, the Standard Criminal Discovery Order entered in this case already addresses these motions.

         In regards to the motions related to Brady and Giglio material, the Standard Criminal Discovery Order provides, in relevant part:

2. The government shall disclose to defense counsel all Brady material which is in the possession, custody or control of the government, the existence of which is known or by the exercise of due diligence should become known to the attorney for the government. Disclosure under this paragraph will include the following:
A. Evidence or information specifically requested by the defendant which is favorable to the accused and “material either to guilt or to punishment.” Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87 (1963). Accord United States v. Agurs, 427 U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Sennett v. Sheriff of Fairfax County, 608 F.2d 537 (4th Cir. 1979). But cf. United States v. Billups, 692 F.2d 320, 325-26 (4th Cir. 1982) (defendant's twenty-five Brady requests too general to constitute “specific request” for documents withheld by the government).
B. Evidence or information, whether or not specifically requested by the defense, which is of sufficient probative value as to create a reasonable doubt of the guilt or which tends to exculpate the accused. See United States v. Agurs, supra; Hamric v. Bailey, 386 F.2d 390, 393 (4th Cir. 1967); and Barbee v. Warden, Maryland Penitentiary, 331 F.2d 842 (4th Cir.1964).
C. Evidence or information indicating that the prosecution's case includes perjured testimony. See Alcorta v. Texas, 355 U.S. 28 (1957); and Campbell v. Reed, 594 F.2d 4 (4th Cir. 1979).
D. Evidence or information tending to discredit or impeach the credibility of a government witness, including plea agreements and prior criminal records (if known to the government). See Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, 154-55 (1972); Gordon v. United States, 344 U.S. 414 (1953); Chavis v. North Carolina, 637 F.2d 213 (4th Cir. 1980); United States v. Sutton, 542 F.2d 1239 (4th Cir. 1976); and Boone v. Paderick, 541 F.2d 447 (4th Cir. 1976).

         The Standard Criminal Discovery Order also provides for the timely disclosure of evidence the Government intends to offer pursuant ...


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