United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
July 10, 2014
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ANTONIO DARSET KING, SR
OPINION AND ORDER
MYRON H. THOMPSON, District Judge.
This cause is before the court on the motion to continue filed by defendant Antonio Darset King, Sr. The government does not oppose the request. For the reasons set forth below, the court finds that jury selection and trial, now set for August 11, 2014, should be continued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7).
While the granting of a continuance is left to the sound discretion of the trial judge, United States v. Stitzer , 785 F.2d 1506, 1516 (11th Cir. 1986), the court is limited by the requirements of the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161. The Act provides in part:
"In any case in which a plea of not guilty is entered, the trial of a defendant charged in an information or indictment with the commission of an offense shall commence within seventy days from the filing date (and making public) of the information or indictment, or from the date the defendant has appeared before a judicial officer of the court in which such charge is pending, whichever date last occurs."
18 U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1). The Act excludes from the 70-day period any continuance based on "findings that the ends of justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial." § 3161(h)(7)(A). In granting a continuance, the court may consider, among other factors, whether the failure to grant the continuance would "result in a miscarriage of justice, " § 3161(h)(7)(B)(i), or "[w]hether the case is so unusual or so complex... that it is unreasonable to expect adequate preparation" without granting a continuance. § 3161(h)(7)(B)(ii).
The court concludes that, in this case, the ends of justice served by granting a continuance outweigh the interest of the public and King in a speedy trial. There is extensive discovery in this case, including taped statements, and the defense has subpoenaed additional documentary and video evidence. King's attorney, J. Carlton Taylor, who was appointed on June 26, 2014, requires additional time to review the evidence and prepare King's defense. Furthermore, King has been charged in a related criminal matter in state court which will likely render this case significantly more complicated. In light of these circumstances, the court finds that a continuance to the next available trial term in the Eastern Division of this district is warranted.
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Accordingly, it is ORDERED as follows:
(1) The motion to continue made by defendant Antonio Darset King, Sr. (doc. no. 37) is granted.
(2) The jury selection and trial for defendant King, now set for August 11, 2014, are reset for December 1, 2014, at 10:00 a.m., at the federal courthouse in Opelika, Alabama.