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United States of America v. Thu Loan Tran-Ngo

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


December 17, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
THU LOAN TRAN-NGO

The opinion of the court was delivered by: (Judge Conner)

ORDER

AND NOW, this 17th day of December, 2010, upon consideration of the motion (Doc. 66) for severance, filed by defendant Thu Loan Tran-Ngo ("Tran- Ngo"), pursuant to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 8(a) and 14(a), and it appearing that Tran-Ngo contends that the seven counts set forth in the superceding indictment should not be joined pursuant to Rule 8(a),*fn1 see FED. R. CRIM. P. 8(a) ("The indictment . . . may charge a defendant in separate counts with 2 or more offenses if the offenses charged . . . are connected with or constitute parts of a common scheme or plan."), and recognizing that Rule 14 permits the court to order separate trials on separate counts of the indictment, see FED. R. CRIM. P. 14(a)

("If the joinder of offenses . . . in an indictment . . . appears to prejudice a defendant or the government, the court may order separate trials of counts . . . ."), but that Tran-Ngo must "demonstrate clear and substantial prejudice[,]" United States v. Davis, 397 F.3d 173, 182 (3d Cir. 2005), and the court noting that the decision to grant a trial severance is within its sound discretion, see id. ("[I]n the absence of an affirmative showing of an abuse of discretion, th[e appellate] court will not interfere with the Rule 14 determinations made by the District Court."), and the court concluding that the charges are properly joined,*fn2 and that severance is not appropriate under the circumstances of the instant case,*fn3 it is hereby ORDERED that the motion (Doc. 66) to sever is DENIED. The case shall proceed as scheduled.

CHRISTOPHER C. CONNER United States District Judge


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