United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. Stivers, Chief Judge United States District Court
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Review Detention Order (DN 41) challenging the Magistrate
Judge's Order of Detention Pending Trial (DN 17). For the
reasons that follow, the motion is DENIED.
April 17, 2019, Defendant Raymone Neal (“Neal”)
was indicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm and
for possession of an unregistered firearm in violation,
respectively, of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2)
and 26 U.S.C. §§ 5861(d), 5871. (Indictment 1-2,
DN 1). Neal was previously convicted for the underlying
felonies of trafficking in a controlled substance, robbery in
the first degree, burglary in the first degree, and arson in
the second degree. (Indictment 1). On a motion by the United
States pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f)(1), the
Magistrate Judge held a hearing to determine if Neal should
be detained pending trial. The Magistrate Judge ordered Neal
to be detained, concluding that a rebuttable presumption
applied and that “[b]y clear and convincing evidence
that no condition or combination of conditions of release
will reasonably assure the safety of any other person and the
community.” (Order Detention 1-2, DN 17). Specifically,
at the hearing, the Magistrate Judge consulted the pretrial
services report and spoke at length with probation officers
knowledgeable about Neal's criminal history. (Detention
Hr'g Audio at 2:16:51, 2:17:40-2:33:31). Ultimately, the
Magistrate Judge found that Neal's extensive violent
criminal history and recent alleged criminal acts committed
while released on bond showed that he posed a danger to the
community. (Detention Hr'g Audio at 2:34:15).
September 26, 2019, Neal moved this Court for review and
revocation of the Detention Order. (Def.'s Mot. Review
Detention Order, DN 41). Specifically, Neal argues that (1)
the detention order should have included a written finding of
fact and reasons, (2) the statutory rebuttable presumption
does not apply in this case, and (3) Neal's medical
conditions place him at risk if he is further detained prior
to trial. (Def.'s Mot. Review Detention Order 2-3). Neal
also wrote a letter to the undersigned to further explain his
medical situation. (Letter, DN 43). The United States
responded to Neal's motion. (Pl.'s Resp. Def.'s
Mot. Review Detention Order, DN 42).
district court reviews a magistrate judge's order of
detention de novo. See United States v.
Yamini, 91 F.Supp.2d 1125, 1127 (S.D. Ohio 2000)
(explaining that, although the Sixth Circuit has not mandated
a particular standard of review, “[t]he majority view
appears to favor . . . de novo review of detention
orders . . . .”). When considering the safety of any
other person and the community, the Court should consider:
(1) “the nature and circumstances of the offense
charged;” (2) “the weight of the evidence against
the person;” (3) “the history and characteristics
of the person;” and (4) “the nature and
seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that
would be posed by the person's release.” 18 U.S.C.
this Court is tasked with conducting a de novo
review of the Magistrate Judge's findings, this Court is
not equipped with the pretrial services report nor with the
guidance from probation that guided the Magistrate
Judge's determination. Neal has not, however,
specifically challenged the findings of the Magistrate Judge
regarding his extensive violent criminal history. Moreover,
the objections that Neal has raised do not question the bulk
of the Magistrate's conclusions and are therefore
non-dispositive. The Court will consider each of Neal's
three objections in turn.
Neal contends that the detention order should have included
“written findings of fact and a written statement of
the reasons for the detention.” (Def.'s Mot. Review
Detention Order 2). While Neal is correct that 18 U.S.C.
§ 3142(i) does require the Magistrate Judge to make
written findings, the Magistrate Judge has done so here. The
Order of Detention Pending Trial, readily available in the
docket, shows that the Magistrate Judge found “[b]y
clear and convincing evidence that no condition or
combination of conditions of release will reasonably assure
the safety of any other person and the community.”
(Order Detention 2). Furthermore, the Magistrate Judge listed
the reasons for detention as (1) “[p]rior criminal
history, ” (2) “[p]articipation in criminal
activity while on probation, parole, or supervision, ”
and (3) “[h]istory of violence or use of
weapons.” (Order Detention 2). While this Order is
admittedly formatted as a checklist, the Order sets out in
written form the findings and reasons for Neal's
Neal argues that the Magistrate Judge erroneously concluded
that this was a rebuttable presumption case. (Def.'s Mot.
Review Detention Order 2). While the United States concedes
that Neal is correct on this point, it does little change the
underlying analysis. (Pl.'s Resp. Def.'s Mot. Review
Detention Order 2). Beyond the presumption, the Magistrate
Judge still made factual findings that Neal posed a real
danger to the community if released from federal custody.
(Order Detention 2). As discussed at length, these findings
included a long list of violent criminal acts. Moreover,
counsel for Neal conceded at the detention hearing, albeit
erroneously, that the presumption applied this this case.
(Detention Hr'g Audio at 2:10:37). Therefore, even though
the Magistrate Judge incorrectly determined that the
presumption applied, she still independently determined that
Neal posed a risk of danger to the community.
and finally, Neal states that “additional evidence is
now available to show how Neal's present incarceration is
significantly detrimental to Neal's life-threatening
condition.” (Def.'s Mot. Review Detention Order 2).
Specifically, Neal says that he has been forced to sleep on a
concrete floor, has been denied necessary medical care, and
has recently lost a filling in his tooth.(Def.'s Mot.
Review Detention Order 2-3). Neal also admits, however, that
his medical condition, especially his recurring
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, “was known, and presented
to the Magistrate Judge” at the detention hearing.
(Def.'s Mot. Review Detention Order 2). As such, this
“objection” does not raise new grounds that
challenge the Magistrate Judge's reasoning. Nor, for that
matter, does Neal explain how his medical condition
undermines the determination that he is a risk to the
community at large. Moreover, both Neal's motion and the
letter that he wrote to the undersigned acknowledge that he
has been taken to the hospital when his medical condition has
worsened. (Def.'s Mot. Review Detention Order 3; Letter
3). In conclusion, this objection is immaterial and without
Court is mindful that it is charged with a de novo
review of the Order of Detention. Even so, Neal has done
little to contradict the findings of the Magistrate Judge on
this matter. These uncontested findings show that Neal has an
extensive criminal history, these crimes involved violence
and the use of weapons, and some of these crimes occurred
while Neal was out on probation. Therefore, the factors as
set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g) overwhelmingly show
that, if Neal is released, “no condition or combination
of conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of
any other person and the community . . .
.” 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(2).
foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant's
Motion to Review Detention Order (DN 41) challenging the
Magistrate Judge's ...