United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
RANDOLPH D. MOSS United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on the government's motion for
exclusion of time under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.
§ 3161. See Dkt. 9. For the reasons that
follow, the Court will GRANT the motion.
October 17, 2017, Defendant David Lee Thomas was charged by
indictment with one count of interference with interstate
commerce by robbery in violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C.
§ 1951 and one count of using, carrying, and possessing
a firearm during a crime of violence in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A). Dkt. 1. On October 20, Thomas was
arrested, made an initial appearance, and was arraigned.
See Dkt. 3; Minute Entry (Oct. 20, 2017). On October
25, upon the government's motion, the magistrate judge
ordered that Thomas be held without bond pending trial.
Minute Entry (Oct. 25, 2017); see also Dkt. 5.
various status conferences over the next several months, the
Court excluded time under the Speedy Trial Act from October
31, 2017 through May 8, 2018, finding that “the ends of
justice served by” the requested continuances
“outweigh[ed] the best interests of the public and the
defendant in a speedy trial.” 18 U.S.C. §
3161(h)(7)(A); see Minute Entry (Oct. 31, 2017);
Minute Entry (Jan. 19, 2018); Minute Entry (Mar. 15, 2018);
Minute Entry (Apr. 6, 2018); Minute Entry (Apr. 24, 2018);
Minute Entry (May 7, 2018). During this period, Thomas
requested and was granted the appointment of new counsel.
See Minute Entry (Mar. 15, 2018).
3, 2018, the grand jury returned a superseding indictment
charging Thomas with twelve additional offenses: four
additional counts of interference with interstate commerce by
robbery in violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951;
four additional counts of using, carrying, and possessing a
firearm during a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(c)(1)(A); two counts of armed robbery in violation
of D.C. Code §§ 22-2801, 22-4501; and two counts of
possession of a firearm during a crime of violence or
dangerous offense (“PFCOV”) in violation of D.C.
Code § 22-4504(b). See Dkt. 8. Thomas was
arraigned on the new charges on May 7, 2018. The government
now moves to exclude time from May 8, 2018 to June 29, 2018.
Dkt. 9 at 56 n.2. Although Thomas has indicated that he would
like to proceed to trial promptly, he has not filed an
opposition to the government's motion, and, indeed, his
counsel has acknowledged that this is a complicated case that
will require substantial investigatory and preparatory
Speedy Trial Act provides that “the trial of a
defendant . . . shall commence within seventy days from the
filing date . . . of the information or indictment, or from
the date the defendant has appeared before a judicial officer
of the court in which such charge is pending, which ever date
last occurs.” 18 U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1). Certain
periods of delay, however, are excluded for purposes of
calculating time under the Act. As relevant here, the Act
[a]ny period of delay resulting from a continuance . . . if
the judge granted such continuance on the basis of his
findings that the ends of justice served by [the continuance]
outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in
a speedy trial.
18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A). To exclude time under the
“ends of justice” exception, the Court must set
forth “either orally or in writing” the basis for
its conclusion that exclusion is warranted. Id.
Among other factors, the Act instructs the Court to consider
[w]hether the case is so unusual or so complex, due to the
number of defendants, the nature of the prosecution, or the
existence of novel questions of fact or law, that it is
unreasonable to expect adequate preparation for pretrial
proceedings or for the trial itself within the time limits
established by this section.
18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(B)(ii).
government has moved to exclude time from May 8, 2018 (the
date on which the government filed this motion) to June 29,
2018, a total of 53 days. Dkt. 9 at 5-6 n.2. According to the
government, tolling is warranted because “[t]he volume
and nature of the evidence in this case . . . makes it
complex.” Id. at 6. At the status conference
held on May 7, 2018, the government notified the Court of its
intention to file the present motion. Hrg. Tr. (Rough at
11:15). Counsel for Thomas indicated that she did not
anticipate responding to the motion and that she
“agree[d] that the case is complex.” Id.
(Rough at 11:41).
government's motion and Thomas's counsel at the
status conference presented several reasons why adequate
trial preparation will require additional time.
First, the number of charges in this case and the
nature of those charges make this case complex. The fourteen
charges in the superseding indictment stem from five alleged
armed robberies of businesses and two alleged armed robberies
of a person.
the sheer quantity of evidence will require a significant
amount of time to review. According to the government, the
DNA data and evidence; extensive cellular telephone
extraction and geo-location reports and data; five store
surveillance videos; jail telephone calls and visits;
hundreds of pages of documents, records, and photographs; 19
law enforcement body camera videos; and Brady