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United States v. Williams

October 4, 2007


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Judge Kane


Before the Court is a motion in limine filed by Defendant Terrence Williams to exclude the deposition testimony of Kerri Hudson. (Doc. No. 1029). The motion has been briefed and is ripe for disposition.


Williams has moved to exclude the testimony of Kerri Hudson, who was arrested as a material witness in connection with the above captioned indictment. (Doc. No. 1029.) Williams argues that Ms. Hudson's testimony describing certain unlawful activities of Williams is "unrelated to any of the specific charges alleged in the indictment or the overt acts described therein and is not relevant under Rule 402 of the Rules of Evidence." (Id. ¶ 3.) Williams complains that Ms. Hudson's testimony bears "no apparent relationship" to the conspiracy alleged in the indictment, and he also contends that the Middle District is not the appropriate venue to prosecute these offenses which, if true, occurred outside of its geographical borders. (Def. Br. in Supp., Doc. No. 1030, at 5-6.)

In response, the Government emphasizes that "the relevance of Ms. Hudson's testimony can hardly be understated." (Gov't Br. in Opp., Doc. No. 1038, at 2.) By way of example, the Government explains that Ms. Hudson's testimony describes Williams and Co-defendant Derrick Maes traveling together in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostituting a juvenile and details a concerted action and/or a tacit agreement between these two men whereby a prostitute of Maes would train one of Williams's prostitutes. (Id.) In response to the venue argument mounted by Williams, the Government points out that Williams is not being charged with the substantive offenses of having prostituted Kerri Hudson in Detroit, Michigan. Rather, he is charged with an interstate conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce "to the Middle District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere," including Michigan, for the purposes of facilitating and engaging in prostitution. (Id. at 3-4.)


The Court has reserved ruling on Defendant's motion because it "present[s] issues for which final decision is best reserved for a specific trial situation." Walden v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., 126 F.3d 506, 518 n.10 (3d Cir. 1997) (citing American Home Assur. Co. v. Sunshine Supermarket, Inc., 753 F.2d 321, 324 (3d Cir. 1985)).Where evidence is challenged on the basis that it is irrelevant, "the considerations weighed by the court will likely change as the trial progresses."*fn1 Id. Considered now in the context of the evidence presented to date, Defendant's motion in limine must be denied. The Government has presented two full days of testimony, including the extended testimony of Wayne Banks and Jessica Klempner, as well as a portion of the testimony of Co-defendant Derrick Maes. Through these witnesses, the Government has introduced sufficient evidence to establish the existence of the conspiracy alleged in Count I of the indictment, and has identified Williams as a conspirator. Although the challenged testimony pertains to events that occurred outside of the Middle District of Pennsylvania and before the dates of the overt acts alleged against Williams in the indictment, the events discussed by Ms. Hudson are nonetheless probative of the existence of the conspiracy and thus admissible as relevant evidence. Accordingly, the motion in limine will be denied.


During the course of Ms. Hudson's deposition, counsel made various objections. The Court rules upon these objections as follows:

Objection Ruling

(by deposition page number and line)

Page 23, line 24 overruled Page 26, line 8 overruled Page 30, line 10 sustained Page 31, line 17 sustained Page 31, line 13 sustained Page 33, line 9 sustained Page 33, line 24 sustained Page 34, line 19 sustained Page 44, line 10 sustained Page 50, line 16 sustained Page 54, line 21 sustained Page 56, line 1 sustained Page 57, line 9 sustained Page 59, line 10 overruled Page 60, line 13 overruled Page 64, line 20 overruled Page 66, line 7 sustained Page 68, line 7 sustained Page 78, line 7 sustained Page 79, line 15 sustained Page 81, line 14 sustained Page 82, line 12 sustained Page 83, line 19 overruled The Government will be instructed to edit the video deposition as needed to reflect the Court's rulings on these objections.

An appropriate order ...

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