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United States v. Myers

United States District Court, D. Kansas

July 16, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL MYERS (13), Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

DANIEL D. CRABTREE, District Judge.

On May 7, 2015, Judge Sebelius held a hearing, at the government's request, to determine whether to revoke defendant Michael Myers' pretrial release in this case (Doc. 416). After the hearing Judge Sebelius revoked Mr. Myers' pretrial release and ordered him detained pending trial (Doc. 436). On July 9, 2015, Mr. Myers filed a motion for reconsideration of Judge Sebelius' order (Doc. 442). He filed an amended, though largely similar, motion on July 13, 2015 (Doc. 445). The Court held a hearing on Mr. Myers' motions on July 14, 2015. The Court conducts a de novo review of Judge Sebelius' revocation order. United States v. Bunce, No. 00-40024-07-SAC, 2000 WL 1542584, at *2 (D. Kan. Sept. 29, 2000). After reviewing the evidence and arguments of counsel, the Court denies Mr. Myers' motions.

Under 18 U.S.C. § 3148, "a person who has been released under section 3142 of this title, and who has violated a condition of his release, is subject to a revocation of release, an order of detention, and a prosecution for contempt of court." The Court must enter an order of revocation if, after a hearing, it:

(1) finds that there is-
(A) probable cause to believe that the person has committed a Federal, State, or local crime while on release; or
(B) clear and convincing evidence that the person has violated any other condition of release; and
(2) finds that-
(A) based on the factors set forth in section 3142(g) of this title, there is no condition or combination of conditions of release that will assure that the person will not flee or pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community; or
(B) the person is unlikely to abide by any condition or combination of conditions of release.

18 U.S.C. § 3148(b).

On the first prong of this provision, the Court finds that probable cause exists to believe that Mr. Myers has committed a state or local crime. On April 6, 2015, he was charged with Assault Family Violence in Montgomery County, Texas, after an altercation with his co-defendant in this case, Michelle Reulet. The Court has reviewed the voluntary written statement that Ms. Reulet provided to a law enforcement officer about this incident and also has listened to the emergency 911 call she made to Texas authorities that morning. Based on this evidence, the Court concludes that there is probable cause to believe that Mr. Myers committed the crime of Assault Family Violence.

Also, clear and convincing evidence exists to believe that Mr. Myers has violated a condition of his pretrial release. Mr. Myers admits he did not notify his probation officer immediately about his contact with a law enforcement officer on April 6, or about the resulting charge. Indeed, Mr. Myers' Probation Officer contacted him, not the other way around.

On the second prong of § 3148, the Court finds that "there is no condition or combination of conditions of release that will assure that" Mr. Myers does not pose a danger to Ms. Reulet's safety. 18 U.S.C. § 3148(b). Title 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g) instructs the Court, when deciding whether any conditions exist that reasonably will assure the safety of Ms. Reulet, to consider four factors. First, the Court must consider "the nature and circumstances of the offense[s]" charged against Mr. Myers. § 3142(g)(1). The Superseding Indictment charges Mr. Myers with substantial violations of the Controlled Substances Act, ones that could produce sentences as long as 20 years. In such a case, a rebuttable presumption arises that no sufficient conditions exist. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3)(A). As detailed more fully in the following discussion of the other three statutory factors, Mr. Myers has failed to rebut this presumption.

Section 3142(g) next instructs the Court to consider the weight of the evidence against Mr. Myers. This requirement is a daunting proposition in a complex case (as this one is) with a broad geographic and factual reach. But the government has represented that it possesses communications that Mr. Myers authored and they manifest, the government says, his awareness that he was engaging in criminal behavior. Ultimately, a jury will decide whether these communications are what the government says they are and, together with other evidence, whether they will enable the government to carry the heavy burden our system imposes in a criminal case. But without expressing any opinion whether the ...


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