IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
July 6, 2009
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
MARK SWAGERTY, A/K/A MARCUS DONTAI, AND STEPHANIE NICOLE PETERSON, DEFENDANTS.
UNITED STATES' MOTION TO DISMISS THE INDICTMENT; ORDER
Plaintiff, the United States of America, by and through its undersigned attorneys, hereby moves to dismiss the indictment, without prejudice, in the above-captioned matter in the interests of justice. The matter is set for a trial confirmation hearing before this Court on Monday, July 7, 2009, and is set for trial on Monday, July 27, 2009. The United States asks that both court dates be vacated.
The defendants in this case were indicted on May 7, 2009. At the time of indictment, the United States believed not only that probable cause existed to charge the defendants but that it would be able to prove its case against the pair beyond a reasonable doubt.
However, the initial charging attorney was called to Spain on a family medical emergency and remains there to this day. When the case was reassigned, the undersigned and two senior prosecutors reevaluated the evidence. It was at that time determined that the evidence to prove the interstate nexus element was not sufficient to put before a jury at trial. The issue was brought before management of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California and a decision was made to dismiss the indictment. As both defendants are in custody, the United States worked quickly to come to this decision. In the interests of justice and with adherence to ethical standards, the United States now respectfully requests that the indictment be dismissed. However, the United States asks that this dismissal be without prejudice, so that if more substantial evidence of interstate nexus comes to light, the government may refile its charges. Further, the United States asks that all scheduled court dates in this matter be vacated.
Dated: July 2, 2009
LAWRENCE G. BROWN Acting United States Attorney
ELLEN V. ENDRIZZI Assistant U.S. Attorney
For good cause shown, the indictment in case number 2:09-cr-213, pending against defendants Mark Swagerty and Stephanie Nicole Peterson, is hereby ordered DISMISSED without prejudice. All subsequent court dates are hereby ordered vacated.
The United States Marshal is ordered to release the defendants from custody forthwith.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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