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United States v. Coachman

April 8, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
JAWAN BARNETT COACHMAN A/K/A DARRYL CLARK



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Terrence F. McVerry United States District Court Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Pending before the Court is the MOTION FOR REVOCATION OF ORDER OF DETENTION WITH CITATION OF AUTHORITY filed on behalf of Defendant, Jawan Barnett Coachman (Document No. 23), the RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION filed by the government (Document No. 24), and the REPLY filed on behalf of Defendant (Document No. 25). The Court has reviewed a transcript of the detention hearing on January 8, 2009, conducted before United States Magistrate Judge Amy Reynolds Hay. For the reasons that follow, the Motion is DENIED.

Facts and Procedural History

On November 18, 2008, a federal grand jury returned a one-count Indictment against Defendant in which he was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, on or about January 8, 2008, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (Document No. 1). Defendant made his initial appearance on January 7, 2009 (Document No. 7). An arraignment and detention hearing was held the following day on January 8, 2009, before United States Magistrate Judge Amy Reynolds Hay, at which time the government requested that the Defendant be detained without bond pending trial in accordance with the Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3141, et. seq.

The Defendant was present and represented by counsel at the detention hearing. At the hearing, counsel for both parties presented evidence and proffers of evidence including, but not limited to, information which pertained to the Defendant's history and the circumstances of his arrest on this charge. In particular, the government presented evidence that when the Defendant was arrested (i) he initially provided a false name to the arresting officer, (ii) there was an active State warrant from Allegheny County for the Defendant's arrest for failure to appear for a probation hearing wherein the Defendant was to answer to the court for failing to pay court ordered restitution; (iii) the Defendant possessed a loaded and chambered 9mm pistol in violation of his current State probation for which he was in violation; (iv) the Defendant was in possession of five knotted baggie corners of crack cocaine; (v) the Defendant had on his person $657.00 in U.S. currency and two cell phones which rang constantly during the traffic stop with twenty-four (24) missed calls.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the magistrate judge granted the government's motion and ordered that Defendant be detained pending further disposition of this matter. (Document No. 20).

Defendant has filed the instant motion in which he requests that the Court revoke the Order of Detention and order his release on bond "because the Magistrate Judge failed to make any findings that would support an order of detention under the Bail Reform Act. . . ." Mot. at 1. Defendant attempts to minimize the evidence presented by the government at the detention hearing by arguing as follows:

(i) although Defendant admits that he initially provided a false name to the arresting officer, "the Magistrate Judge failed to acknowledge that Mr. Coachman did, eventually give the officers his actual driver's license and gave them his real name;"

(ii) Defendant denied at the detention hearing that he had knowledge of the outstanding arrest warrant;

(iii) the fact that "a firearm was recovered in Mr. Coachmen's vehicle does not support detention," as it is not deemed a crime of violence, and Defendant "voluntarily told the police about the gun;"

(iv) "Defendant was not charged with 'dealing drugs' and had only 1.3 grams of crack cocaine on him, an amount completely consistent with personal use."

Defendant also argues that although the Pretrial Services Report noted apparent discrepancies, the "Magistrate Judge never asked that [these] discrepanc[ies] be explained or explored during the hearing." Mot. at 7.

In sum, Defendant contends that "[t]he evidence presented at the detention hearing did not show by clear and convincing evidence that there were no condition or combination of conditions that would reasonably assure the safety of any person or the community. To the contrary, the evidence established that Mr. Coachman could be released ...


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