United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
pretrial motions in this case have been referred to the
undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) for
disposition or report and recommendation regarding
disposition by the District Court as may be appropriate. This
case is before the Court on the Defendant Jerry Craig's
Motion to Continue Pretrial Motion Hearing, Final Pretrial
Conference, Plea Deadline, and Trial Date [Doc. 83], filed on
June 4, 2019. In this motion, Defendant Craig states that he
was unable to prepare for a motion hearing on June 10
because, on his way to meet with counsel on May 30, he
experienced stroke-like symptoms, which required that he be
hospitalized. Defendant Jerry Craig relates that he has had
difficulty walking following this episode and that he will
meet with his primary care physician in the near future to
learn of the time needed for treatment. Counsel for Defendant
Jerry Craig states that she has not been able to meet with
him to review the Government's responses to motions and
to prepare for the motion hearing, due to the Defendant's
health issues. The motion maintains that neither the
Government, nor counsel for Codefendant Bradley Craig, object
to the requested continuance.
parties appeared for a hearing on the motion to continue on
June 10, 2019. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew
Cheatham Parker and Intern Hunter Shelton participated on
behalf of the Government. Assistant Federal Defender Nikki C.
Pierce represented Defendant Jerry Craig. Attorney David L.
Leonard represented Defendant Bradley Craig. The parties
confirmed their positions, as stated in the motion. Ms.
Pierce said that Defendant Jerry Craig was admitted to the
hospital for a suspected stroke and underwent testing. Ms.
Pierce stated that although the Defendant did not have a
full-blown stroke, he continued to have health issues related
to his recent symptoms. She stated that his primary care
physician prescribed three weeks of therapy for the Defendant
and recommended that he not appear in court during that time.
She asserted that Defendant Jerry Craig was waiving his
speedy trial rights in relation to the motion.
Leonard stated that he discussed the motion with Defendant
Bradley Craig, who also waives his speedy trial rights with
regard to the motion. Mr. Leonard said that Defendant Bradley
Craig is presently in custody serving a state sentence and is
presently undergoing chemotherapy. He said that his client
joins in the motion to continue the trial.
Parker stated that he had discussed the motion with Defendant
Jerry Craig's counsel and that the Government did not
object to the motion. The parties agreed to continue the
motion hearing to August 6, 2019, at 10:00 a.m., and on a new
trial date of December 10, 2019.
Court finds Defendant Jerry Craig's motion to continue
the trial and other deadlines to be unopposed and well-taken.
The Court also finds that the ends of justice served by
granting a continuance outweigh the interest of the
Defendants and the public in a speedy trial. 18 U.S.C. §
3161(h)(7)(A). The sixteen-page Indictment [Doc. 1] charges
the Defendants with forty-eight counts: One count of
transporting stolen goods in interstate commerce, sixteen
counts of altering or removing vehicle identification
numbers, twenty counts of sale or receipt of stolen vehicles,
nine counts of being a felon in possession of firearms or
ammunition, one count of possession of a stolen firearm, and
one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods (operating a
chop shop). The Court has previously found [Doc. 31] this
case to be complex for purposes of the Speedy Trial Act, due
to the nature of the instant prosecution with respect to the
number and complexity of the charges, the voluminous
discovery, and the anticipated dispositive motions. 18 U.S.C.
§ 3161(h)(7)(B)(ii). Defendants have now filed fifteen
pretrial motions including four motions to suppress evidence.
Responses to these motions were filed primarily in mid-May.
The Court finds that Defendant Jerry Craig needs time to
prepare for the motion hearing with counsel.
motion hearing on the pending motions, the Court will need
time to prepare reports and recommendations on the
dispositive motions and to rule on the non-dispositive
motions. 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(1)(H). Thereafter, the
parties will need time to file and respond to objections to
the reports and recommendations, and the District Judge will
need time to rule. 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(1)(H). Finally,
the parties will need time to prepare the case for trial in
light of the rulings on motions. Given the number and
complexity of the issues raised in the pretrial motions, the
Court finds that counsel cannot be prepared for trial on July
30 or in less than six months. Thus, without a continuance,
defense counsel would not have the reasonable time necessary
to prepare for trial, despite their use of due diligence.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(B)(iv).
Defendant Jerry Craig's motion to continue the trial and
schedule [Doc. 83], which has been joined by
Defendant Bradley Craig, is GRANTED, and the
trial is reset to December 10, 2019. The
Court finds that all the time between the filing of the
motion on June 4, 2019, and the new trial date of December
10, 2019, is fully excludable time under the Speedy Trial Act
for the reasons set forth herein. See 18 U.S.C.
§ 3161(h)(1)(D), -(1)(H), & -(7)(A)-(B). With regard
to additional scheduling in this case, the parties are to
appear before the undersigned in Greeneville, Tennessee, for
a motion hearing on all pending pretrial motions on
August 6, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. A final
pretrial conference is set for November 26, 2019, at
11:00 a.m., and will be conducted by video
teleconference. This date is also the deadline for concluding
plea negotiations and providing reciprocal discovery. The
Court instructs the parties that all motions in
limine must be filed no later than November 25,
2019. Special requests for jury instructions shall
be submitted to the District Judge no later than
December 2, 2019, and shall be supported by
citations to authority pursuant to Local Rule 7.4.
Court ORDERS as follows:
(1) Defendant Jerry Craig's Motion to Continue Pretrial
Motion Hearing, Final Pretrial Conference, Plea Deadline, and
Trial Date [Doc. 83] is
(2) The trial of this matter is reset to commence on
December 10, 2019, at 9:00
a.m., before the Honorable R. Leon Jordan, United
States District Judge;
(3) All time between the filing of the motion on June
4, 2019, and the new trial date of December
10, 2019, is fully excludable time under the Speedy
Trial Act for the reasons set forth herein;
(4) The parties are to appear before the undersigned at the
James H. Quillen United States Courthouse in Greeneville,
Tennessee, for a motion hearing on all pending pretrial
motions on August 6, 2019, at 10:00 a.m.;
(5) Motions in limine must be filed no later than
November 25, 2019;
(6) The Court will hold a final pretrial conference by video
teleconference on November 26, 2019, at 11:00
a.m. This date is also the new deadline for
concluding plea negotiations ...