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United States of America v. Harold Bacon

October 31, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PLAINTIFF,
v.
HAROLD BACON, ANDRE ALLEN, CLARENCE THOMPSON, GREGORY WASHINGTON DUANE SCOTT, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Court Judge

ELECTONICALLY FILED

ORDER OF COURT RE: PARTIES' MOTIONS IN LIMINE (DOC. NOS. 941-945, 950, 956, 967)

Pursuant to this Court's Pre-Trial Order, the parties files Motions in Limine by October 24, 2012. Doc. No. 869, ¶ 5.*fn1 There are eight (8) pending Motions in Limine before this Court, which will be addressed by party. Doc. Nos. 941-945, 950, 956, 967.

AND NOW, this 31st day of October 2012, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

A.Government Motions in Limine

1.Motion in Limine for Authorization to Recall Certain Law Enforcement Officers During Case-In-Chief (Doc. No. 941)

In its Motion in Limine for Authorization to Recall Certain Law Enforcement Officers During Case-in-Chief, the Government, pursuant to Fed. R. Evid. 611(a), moves the Court to permit law enforcement officers to be recalled during the Prosecution's case-in-chief "to allow for the chronological presentation of evidence." Doc. No. 941, 1. The Court finds that it is preferable to present evidence to the jury in the most organized way possible, including presentation of evidence in a chronological manner, especially in this case which involves multiple Defendants, an extended period of time, and numerous intercepted cell phone communications and drug transactions. The Court encourages Counsel, if they have not already done so, to discuss the manner in which the witness will be recalled to limit any concerns raised in Defendant Bacon's Response to this Motion in Limine (Doc. No. 949). Recalling a witness will not be permitted to be used as a vehicle for either side to ask questions that they failed to ask during the first direct or cross examination. Therefore, because of the nature of this case, the Government's Motion in Limine for Authorization to Recall Certain Law Enforcement Officers During Case-in-Chief (Doc. No. 944) is GRANTED. Pittsburgh Police Detective Christian Sciulli will be permitted to be recalled during the Government's case-in-chief so that evidence may be presented chronologically. If the Government intends to re-call other law enforcement officers during trial, it shall inform the Court and Defense Counsel prior to that Officer taking the stand.

2.Motion in Limine for Authorization for the Presence of Two Law Enforcement Officers at Counsel Table (Doc. No. 942)

In its Motion in Limine for Authorization for the Presence of Two Law Enforcement Officers at Counsel Table, the Government moves this Court, pursuant to Fed. R. Evid. 615, to permit Detective Christian Sciulli and Agent Karen Springmeyer to sit at counsel table throughout the trial. No Defendant filed a Response to this Motion. Detective Sciulli has been designated as the Prosecution's representative pursuant to Fed. R. Evid. 615(2). The Government represents that Agent Springmeyer's presence is essential to its presentation of the evidence. Doc. No. 942, 2. The Court finds that the presence of both Detective Sciulli and Agent Springmeyer at counsel table is appropriate, pursuant to Fed. R. Evid. 615, and therefore, the Government's Motion in Limine for Authorization for the Presence of Two Law Enforcement Officers at Counsel Table (Doc. No. 942) is GRANTED.

3.Motion in Limine for Authorization for the Jury to Utilize a Computer to Review Audio Recordings (Doc. No. 943)

In its Motion in Limine for Authorization for the Jury to Utilize a Computer to Review Audio Recordings, the Government moves the Court to permit the jury to utilize a "non-networked, clean laptop computer to review the audio recordings of intercepted calls that are admitted as substantive evidence during the trial." Doc. No. 943, 1. Defendants did not file a Response to this Motion in Limine. The Court finds that the jury should be permitted to review the cell phone communications, which are admitted into evidence, during its deliberations. As such, the jury will be permitted to review a CD/DVD of these communications on a laptop computer. Therefore, the Government's Motion in Limine for Authorization for the Jury to Utilize a Computer to Review Audio Recordings (Doc. No. 943) is GRANTED. The Government shall provide the Court with the laptop computer and a CD/DVD of intercepted audio cell phone communications on or before November 2, 2012, at NOON, for the Court's review.

4.Motion in Limine for Authorization for the Jury to Utilize the Transcripts of the Intercepted Communications During Its Deliberations (Doc. No. 944)

In its Motion in Limine for Authorization for the Jury to Utilize the Transcripts of the Intercepted Communications During Its Deliberations, the Government moves the Court to permit transcripts of intercepted phone calls and text messages to be with the jury during its deliberations. Doc. No. 944, 1. In his Response to this Motion in Limine, Defendant Bacon contends that the jury will rely too heavily on the transcripts because "the quality of many of these recordings is not good and the sound quality is poor and/or faint . . . ." Doc. No. 948, 1. The Court finds that transcripts of the intercepted communications may be used by the jury as listening aids and may be with the jury during deliberations. The Court will instruct the jury that the transcripts of the cell phone calls are only listening aids and are not substantive evidence, both prior to the introduction of the first intercepted communication and during final jury instructions. The Government will hand-deliver a copy of the transcripts and audiotapes for this Court's review on or before November 2, 2012, at NOON. If Defense Counsel disputes the accuracy of any transcript, on or before November 7, 2012, they shall file a document outlining which sessions, if any, are disputed, and their proposed alternate transcript. The Government's Motion in Limine for Authorization for the Jury to Utilize the Transcripts of the Intercepted Communications During Deliberations (Doc. No. 944) is GRANTED.

5.Motion in Limine to Exclude Improper Cross-Examinations About Past Arrests, Dismissed or Acquitted Charges, and ...


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