United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
H. SHARP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant Robert F. Arnold's
“Motion for Review of September 29, 2016 Detention
Order” (Docket No. 92), to which the Government has
responded in opposition (Docket No. 98) and supplemented that
response (Docket No. 100). By way of the Motion, Defendant
requests that the Court overrule Magistrate Judge
Newbern's determination that “there is no condition
or combination of conditions that can ensure the safety of
any other person or of the community, particularly in light
of Sheriff Arnold's ability to use his office for
harassment and intimidation” and that his “lack
of candor with Pretrial Services demonstrates he is unlikely
to abide by any conditions or combinations of conditions the
Court could impose.” (Docket No. 85 at 12).
November 2, 2016, the Court held a full-day hearing on
Defendant's Motion and received further evidence. For the
reasons that follow, the Court will deny Defendant's
request that he be released pending trial.
defendant is detained by order of a Magistrate Judge, the
defendant “may file with the court having original
jurisdiction over the offense, a motion for revocation or
amendment of the order.” 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b).
“Review of the Magistrate Judge's decision is
de novo, ‘although the district court may
conduct its review and base its decision on the evidence
presented to the magistrate at the detention
hearing.'” United States v. Massey, 2014
WL 3671885, at *1 (M.D. Tenn. July 23, 2014) (citation
the Court has read the transcript of the hearing before the
Magistrate Judge and reviewed the evidence admitted during
those proceedings. The Court has also considered the evidence
adduced at the November 2, 2016 hearing, including
Defendant's testimony and the recordings of phone calls
from the Grayson County Detention Center where he is housed.
being indicted and arrested on fourteen assorted federal
crimes arising out of the sale of e-cigarettes to
inmates at the Rutherford County Jail through JailCigs,
Defendant was released pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142.
That release was subject to certain conditions, the first of
which was that he “not violate federal, state or local
law while on release.” (Docket No. 10 at 1). On
September 26, 2016, the Government filed a Motion to Revoke
Pretrial Release (Docket No. 85), alleging that Defendant
committed domestic violence and then coerced the victim to
lie about the events.
violation of any condition of pretrial release is governed by
18 U.S.C. § 3148, which provides that “[a] person
who has been released under section 3142 of this title, and
who has violated a condition of his release, is subject to a
revocation of release, an order of detention, and a
prosecution for contempt of court.” 18 U.S.C. §
3148(a). The statute goes on to provide:
The judicial officer shall enter an order of revocation and
detention if, after a hearing, the judicial officer
(1) finds that there is -
(A) probable cause to believe that the person has committed a
Federal, State, or local crime while on release . . .
(2) finds that -
(A) based on the factors set forth in section 3142(g) of this
title, there is no condition or combination of conditions of
release that will assure that the person will not flee or
pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the
(B) the person is unlikely to abide by any condition or
combination of conditions.
18 U.S.C. § 3148(b). The statute also contains a
presumption: “If there is probable cause to believe
that, while on release, the person committed a Federal,
State, or local felony, a rebuttable presumption arises that
no condition or combination of conditions will assure that
the person will not pose a danger to the safety of any other
person or the community.” Id.
analytical process under 18 U.S.C. 3148 is plain, ”
United States v. Jones, 2009 WL 1360672, at *2 (E.D.
Ky. May 12, 2009), and Magistrate Judge Newbern correctly
followed that process. She made three overriding findings,
which the Court highlights in order to place Defendant's
new arguments in context.
Magistrate Judge Newbern found probable cause to believe that
Defendant committed domestic assault this past Labor Day,
September 5, 2016, in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. §
39-13-111. That finding is supported by the testimony of
Special Agent James Scarbro of the Tennessee Bureau of
Investigation (“TBI”) who oversaw the
investigation regarding alleged domestic assault by
Defendant, and who submitted a written statement from
then-Special Agent Brian Harbaugh. In that statement, Ms.
Arnold claimed that she was physically assaulted by her
husband and described in detail the nature of the
finding of probable cause is also supported by a recorded
conversation between Mrs. Arnold and Elijah Stuard in which
she stated that, during the course of an argument, Defendant
“shoved [her] down” and “pushed [her] over
to the closet.” (Docket No. 96, Hrg. Trans. Vol 1 at
38-39). She also stated that she was “scare[d], ”
“freaking out, ” and “started
shaking” when Defendant climbed on top of her on the
bed. (Id. at 43).
an affidavit submitted on behalf of Defendant in anticipation
of the hearing before the Magistrate Judge, Mrs. Arnold
stated that, during the course of the “argument,
” they “had some physical interaction during
which each of us was aggressive towards the other.”
(Megan Arnold 9/23/2016 Aff. ¶ 6). She also stated that,
at some ...