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U.S. v. WILLIAMS

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania


May 19, 2005.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
WILLIE A. WILLIAMS, Defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES McCLURE, Senior District Judge

ORDER

BACKGROUND:

On May 13, 2004, a three-count indictment was handed down by the grand jury charging the above-named defendant with possession with intent to distribute more than five (5) grams of cocaine base, known as crack, a Schedule II controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(iii) (Count One); carrying, brandishing and possessing a firearm during and in relation to and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) (Count Two); and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) and 924(a)(2) and 924(e)(1) (Count Three). On June 1, 2004, defendant Williams was arraigned before this court and pled not guilty. After several continuances, and waiver of trial by a jury, a non-jury trial is now scheduled for May 25, 2005.

  On May 19, 2005, defendant Williams, by and through his counsel, G. Scott Gardner, Esquire, filed a motion for continuance of the non-jury trial for a period of at least thirty (30) days. Counsel for the government concurs in the motion. Defense counsel represents that he has insufficient time to review a proposed plea agreement with his client.

  The court finds that:

  1. Failure to grant the requested continuance would deny counsel for defendant the reasonable time necessary for effective trial preparation, taking into account the exercise of due diligence, as well as the reasonable time necessary to review the proposed plea agreement and to conduct meaningful plea negotiations.

  2. Failure to grant the requested continuance would be likely to result in a miscarriage of justice.

  3. For the foregoing reasons, the ends of justice served by granting the requested continuance outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial. 4. The period of delay resulting from this continuance is excluded in computing the time within which the trial of the offenses must commence under 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h), (8)(A), (B)(i)(iv).

  NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT:

  1. The motion of defendant (record document no. 76, filed May 19, 2005) for continuance of the non-jury trial is granted.

  2. Trial is continued from May 25, 2005 to July 7, 2005, at 10:00 a.m., in Courtroom No. 3, Federal Building, Fourth Floor, 240 West Third Street, Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

  3. Pretrial Order #1 issued previously shall remain in full force and effect to the extent consistent with this order.

  4. The period of delay resulting from this continuance is excluded under the Speedy Trial Act in computing the time within which trial of the offenses must commence under 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h), (8)(A), (B)(i)(iv).

20050519

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