The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. William B. Shubb
STIPULATION AND ORDER CONTINUING TRIAL CONFIRMATION HEARING AND TRIAL DATE, AND EXCLUDING TIME UNDER THE SPEEDY TRIAL ACT
Whereas, both counsel for United States and counsel for defendant Joaquin Betancourt-Mendoza had previously delayed trial preparation due to the long-held tentative settlement they had reached earlier in this case, but which did not come to actual fruition;
Whereas, the United States has recently performed additional investigative work to prepare for trial, including the execution of a search warrant against two cellular telephones found in the marijuana garden where Betancourt-Mendoza was arrested and the preparation of a Spanish/English transcript of the post-arrest interview of Betancourt-Mendoza. The United States has produced and will be producing additional discovery to defense counsel regarding this additional investigative work;
Whereas, defense counsel will need additional time to review the new discovery from the United States and perform his own defense investigation and legal research to decide whether to file any motions as a result of this new discovery; and Whereas, defense counsel's father has unexpectedly become ill and is scheduled for a significant medical procedure on February 22, 2011, and defense counsel will need to attend to the health needs of his father for some unknown period of time thereafter, It is hereby stipulated and agreed by and between plaintiff United States of America, on the one hand, and defendant Joaquin Betancourt-Mendoza, on the other hand, through their respective attorneys, that: (1) the presently set February 22, 2011, trial confirmation hearing shall be vacated and, instead, a status conference shall be held on March 14, 2011, at 8:30 a.m.; (2) the presently set March 15, 2011, trial date shall be vacated; and (3) time from the date of the parties' stipulation, February 18, 2011, through, and including, March 14, 2011, shall be excluded from computation of time within which the trial of 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 (reasonable time for defense counsel to prepare and continuity of defense counsel).
The parties stipulate and agree that the trial delay and exclusion of time requested herein is necessary to provide defense counsel reasonable time to prepare his client's defense taking into account due diligence. The parties further stipulate and agree that the ends of justice to be served by granting the requested continuance outweigh the best interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.
Dated: February 18, 2011 GEORGE TREJO Attorney for Defendant Joaquin Betancourt-Mendoza (per email authorization) Dated: February 18, 2011 BENJAMIN B. WAGNER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY By SAMUEL WONG Assistant U.S. Attorney
The court, having received, read, and considered the stipulation of the parties, is of the view that the proper time for the government to perform its investigative work and execute search warrants is before, or at least a reasonable time after, the defendant is indicted, not after the matter has been set for trial. Nevertheless, disruptive as it is of the court's trial calendar, because the parties stipulate to the continuance, and because the court finds that the failure to grant a continuance in this case would deny defense counsel reasonable time necessary for effective preparation, the court finds that the ends of justice to be served by granting the requested continuance outweigh the interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.
Accordingly, the court orders that the time from the date of the parties' stipulation, February 18, 2011, to and including the new March 14, 2011, status conference hearing date shall be excluded from computation of time within which the trial of this case 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 (reasonable time for defense counsel to prepare and continuity of defense counsel). It is further ordered that: (1) the February 22, 2011, trial confirmation hearing shall be vacated and, instead, a status conference shall be held on March 14, 2011, at 8:30 a.m.; and (2) the previously set March 15, 2011, trial date is vacated.
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