United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division
March 3, 2015
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WILLIE L. ADAMS.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MYRON H. THOMPSON, District Judge.
This cause is before the court on defendant Willie L. Adams's motion to continue. The government does not oppose the motion. For the reasons set forth below, the court finds that jury selection and trial, now set for March 9, 2015, 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 such a continuance, the court may consider, among other factors, whether the failure to grant the continuance "would deny counsel for the defendant... reasonable time necessary for effective preparation, taking into account the exercise of due diligence." § 3161(h)(7)(B)(iv).
The court concludes that, in this case, the ends of justice served by granting a continuance outweigh the interest of the public and Adams in a speedy trial. According to representations made on the record on March 2, 2015, Adams has now applied for a pre-trial diversion program. The approval process for the program will likely require up to three to six months, well beyond the date now set for trial. Moreover, counsel for both parties represent that they have begun talks to resolve this case if Adams is not approved for the diversion program. Given these circumstances, a continuance in this matter is appropriate.
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Accordingly, it is ORDERED as follows:
(1) Defendant Willie L. Adams's motion for continuance (doc. no. 32) is granted.
(2) The jury selection and trial, now set for March 9, 2015, are reset for July 6, 2015, at 10:00 a.m., at the Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 100 West Troy Street, Dothan, Alabama.