United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. MARKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
pending before the court is the defendant's motion to
review and reverse detention order (doc. # 62) filed on
November 30, 2018. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b), the
defendant seeks review of the detention order entered by
United States Magistrate Judge Gray Borden on November 16,
2018. (Doc. # 62). The Government opposes the
defendant's motion. (Doc. # 65). The Court has
independently examined and reviewed the proceedings before
the Magistrate Judge, including the transcripts of the
detention hearings held on August 17, 2018 and November 15,
2018, the pretrial services report prepared on August 15,
2018, as well as the motions and briefs filed in support of
and against detention. Upon consideration of the arguments of
counsel, the evidence presented, the relevant law, and for
the reasons that follow, the Court concludes that the
defendant's motion is due to be DENIED.
to 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b), a defendant who has been ordered
detained pending trial may move the court with original
jurisdiction over the offense to revoke or amend the
August 13, 2018, defendant Timothy Dean Pettiway (“Mr.
Pettiway”) was charged in a criminal complaint with
theft from a gaming establishment on Indian lands in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1167. Mr. Pettiway is accused
of entering “the Wind Creek Casino-Montgomery on August
10, 2018, to abstract, purloin, willfully misapply, or take
and carry away with the intent to steal any moneys, funds, or
other property of value in excess of $1, 000 belonging to a
gaming establishment operated by or for or licensed by an
Indian tribe pursuant to an ordinance or resolution approved
by the National Indian Gaming Commission.” (Doc. # 1 at
3, ¶ 5). Specifically, Mr. Pettiway is accused of
stealing $192, 800.00 from two kiosk machines at the casino.
(Id. at 5, ¶ 13).
Pettiway was arrested on August 14, 2018. The government
filed a motion for detention asserting that he was a flight
risk, and a danger to the community. (Doc.# 7). On August 17,
2018, the Magistrate Judge held a preliminary hearing a
detention hearing at which Federal Bureau of Investigation
agent Matt Minshew testified. (Doc. # 56). Minshew testified
to the acquisition of video surveillance from the casino. The
surveillance video was played at the preliminary and
detention hearing. Minshew positively identified Mr. Pettiway
on the video surveillance. (Id. at 7-9). In
addition, Minshew testified that the surveillance video
showed Mr. Pettiway removing cash boxes from the kiosk
machines and taking the cash boxes into the men's
restroom. The cash boxes were later recovered from the
restroom but the boxes were broken into and empty of the
cash. The Magistrate Judge found that there was probable
cause “to find Mr. Pettiway was involved in the offense
charged in the complaint” and bound him over for
further proceedings. (Id. at 36).
Court then turned to the question of detention. Relying on
the strength of the surveillance video evidence and the
pretrial services report, the government argued that Mr.
Pettiway should be detained pending trial. (Id. at
37). The pretrial services report that documented Mr.
Pettiway's lengthy criminal history with convictions in
Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and California. The government
further asserted that in 2017, Mr. Pettiway was arrested in
Elmore County, Alabama after a high-speed chase in which Mr.
Pettiway's speed approached 114 miles per hour as he
attempted to flee from the police. (Id.). Finally,
the government argued that the almost $200, 000 that was
stolen had not be recovered and with that amount of money
missing, Mr. Pettiway was a flight risk and potentially
dangerous. (Id. at 38).
Pettiway, on the other hand, argued that the evidence
presented by the government had “a lot of holes in this
story.” (Id.) Mr. Pettiway pointed to the fact
that although his residence was searched, the money was not
found there. (Id. at 39). He asserted that he had
significant family ties to the community, and his criminal
history was old. After hearing from Mr. Pettiway's
girlfriend, the Magistrate Judge ordered Mr. Pettiway
Ultimately, this is a difficult question for me. I am
sensitive to the request, certainly, made by Ms. Webster that
Mr. Pettiway be allowed to be home with his family. However,
there is too much here to make me comfortable with that,
particularly with respect to criminal history, which is very
substantial and spans, effectively, Mr. Pettiway's entire
life up through very recently.
I also have concerns about the extensive substance abuse
history, which certainly cuts against his ability to comply
with the law and to be someone that we can trust to be on
bond pending trial.
I am also concerned about the extensive travel back and forth
between California, which is borne out by the criminal
history and the fact that there have been a number of
occasions, it appears, that Mr. Pettiway has used false
identification or aliases.
* * *
In addition to that, it's my understanding that Mr.
Pettiway is currently on probation out of California, which
is yet another factor that gives me a real concern about his
respect for the law and his ability ...