United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
ORDER ON ARRAIGNMENT
Russ Walker United States Magistrate Judge.
April 18, 2018, the defendant, Gene Easterling, appeared in
person and in open court with counsel, Richard Franklin
Matthews, Jr., and was arraigned in accordance with the
provisions of Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Criminal
The defendant entered a plea of NOT GUILTY.
Counsel for the defendant is requested to contact the U.S.
Attorney immediately if the defendant intends to engage in
plea negotiations. If the defendant decides to change this
plea, the parties shall file a notice of intent to plead
guilty or otherwise notify the clerk's office at or
before the pretrial conference and then this action will be
set on a plea docket.
SENTENCING GUIDELINES INFORMATION.
The court no longer requires the United States Probation
Office to provide preliminary sentencing guideline
information to defendants. However, in difficult or complex
cases defendants may request the United States Probation
Office to provide Sentencing Guideline calculation assistance
with the understanding that any estimate is tentative only
and is not binding on the United States Probation Office, the
parties or the court. The court expects that requests for
Sentencing Guideline calculation assistance shall be the
exception and that defendants will not make such requests a
matter of routine. A request for Sentencing Guideline
calculation assistance shall be made in writing to the
supervisor of the Presentence Investigation Unit of the
United States Probation Office not later than 10
days from the date of this order. The calculation
shall be completed not later than one week before the
An initial pretrial conference is hereby set for May
15, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. Courtroom
5B, Frank J. Johnson, Jr. Federal Building
and United States Courthouse Complex, One Church Street,
Montgomery, Alabama before United States Magistrate Judge
Susan Russ Walker. Not later than three days prior to the
date of the pretrial conference, counsel shall confer about
the issues and matters to be discussed at the pretrial
conference as set forth in this order. Counsel who want
in-custody defendants to attend must notify the Magistrate
Judge within three days of the conference date so that an
order to produce can be issued to the United States Marshal.
pretrial conference defense counsel and counsel for the
government shall be fully prepared to discuss all pending
motions, the status of discovery, possible stipulations, and
the estimated length of the trial. Defense counsel and
counsel for the government shall be fully prepared to provide
a definite commitment as to the final disposition of this
case - by trial, plea or other non-trial disposition. If
resolution of a dispositive motion will affect the nature of
this commitment, counsel must be fully prepared to discuss
this type of resolution. If the case is for plea, the notice
of intent to enter a plea should be filed at the time of the
pretrial conference. If counsel require additional time for
plea negotiations, counsel should be prepared to inform the
court about the date when those negotiations will be
At arraignment, the parties agreed that due to the nature of
this case, the need for adequate time for discovery and the
need for counsel to have adequate time for trial preparation,
the case should be set for trial before United States
District Judge Myron H. Thompson on the trial term
beginning on September 4, 2018, at
10:00 a.m., in Montgomery, Alabama, unless
otherwise ordered by the court.
setting this case for trial on the term indicated above, the
court recognizes that the Speedy Trial Act places limits on
the court's discretion, and that under the act, the trial
of a defendant must commence within 70 days of the date of
the indictment or the date of the defendant's first
appearance before a judicial officer, whichever is later. 18
U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1). In determining whether a case
should be set after the expiration of the 70 day period, a
court must consider among other factors “[w]hether the
failure to [set the case at a later date] ... would be likely
to ... result in a miscarriage of justice.” 18 U.S.C.
§ 3161(h)(7)(B)(I). The court also must consider
“whether the failure to grant such a continuance ...
would deny counsel for the defendant or the attorney for the
government the reasonable time necessary for effective
preparation, taking into account the exercise of due
diligence.” 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(B)(iv). Based
on the nature of this case, the parties' need for
adequate time for discovery and the need for counsel to have
adequate time for trial preparation, the court finds that the
ends of justice served by setting this case on this trial
term outweigh the best interest of the public and the
defendant in a speedy trial.
All pretrial motions under Fed.R.Crim.P. 12(b) and (d), 14
and 16, all notices under Fed. R.Crim.P. 12.1, 12.2 and 12.3,
and any motion to compel pursuant to M.D. Ala. LCrR
16.1 Criminal Discovery (a copy of this Rule may be
found at http://www.almd.uscourts.gov/forms/almd-local-rules)
must be filed no later than TWO DAYS BEFORE THE FIRST
PRETRIAL CONFERENCE HELD IN THIS CASE, except that if the
pretrial conference falls on Monday, the deadline for filing
pretrial motions is always the preceding Wednesday.
No motion filed after this date will be considered unless
filed with leave of court. A continuance of the pretrial
conference or trial does not extend the motions deadline.
THE CONFERENCING REQUIREMENT SET FORTH IN ...