The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Lawrence K. Karlton
ORDER EXCLUDING TIME UNDER SPEEDY TRIAL ACT, AND SETTING FURTHER STATUS CONFERENCE HEARING DATE
On January 5, 2010, the parties appeared before the Court for a status conference. Assistant United States Attorney Samuel Wong appeared on behalf of plaintiff United States of America. David Dratman, Esq., appeared with his client, defendant Jose Luis Romero Gutierrez.
Mr. Dratman explained to the Court that he had been unable to meet with his client, whose first language is Spanish, and a Spanish/English interpreter to explain to his client the proposed plea agreement given to him by the United States due to his very time-consuming and lengthy trial in an unrelated criminal case, which ended near the end of 2009. At an earlier hearing, Mr. Dratman had explained that that lengthy trial began on or about March 9, 2009. Mr. Dratman requested that the Court set a hearing on January 26, 2010, for possible change of plea to afford to him the time necessary for him to explain the proposed plea agreement and its ramifications to his client with the assistance of a Spanish/English interpreter.
The parties stipulated and agreed that the time period beginning from January 5, 2009, to and including the date of the new status hearing on January 26, 2010, at 9:15 a.m., should be excluded from computation of time within which the trial in this matter must be commenced under the Speedy Trial Act, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A) and (B)(iv) and Local Code T4, for defense preparation and continuity of defense counsel.
Good cause appearing from the parties' requests and stipulations, the Court orders that time beginning from January 5, 2009, to and including the date of the new hearing on January 26, 2010, at 9:15 a.m., shall be excluded from computation of time within which the trial in this matter must be commenced under the Speedy Trial Act, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A) and (B)(iv) and Local Code T4, for defense preparation and continuity of defense counsel. The Court further orders that a status conference shall be conducted on January 26, 2010, at 9:15 a.m., for possible change of plea.
The Court finds that the failure to grant the requested continuance in this case would deny defendant's counsel reasonable time necessary for effective preparation of his client's defense taking into account the exercise of due diligence, and defendant continuity of counsel. The Court specifically finds that the ends of justice served by the granting of such continuance outweigh the interests of the public and defendant in a speedy trial.
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