360 F.3d 401 (2nd Cir. 2004), 04-0221, United States v. Lea

Docket Nº:04-0221-CR.
Citation:360 F.3d 401
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellant, v. John LEA, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:March 12, 2004
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Page 401

360 F.3d 401 (2nd Cir. 2004)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellant,


John LEA, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 04-0221-CR.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

March 12, 2004

Submitted March 9, 2004.

Page 402

David M. Grable, Assistant United States Attorney (Glenn T. Suddaby, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, Robert P. Storch, Assistant United States Attorney, on the brief), for appellant.

Richard L. Mott, Albany, NY, for appellee.

Before: WALKER, Chief Judge, CARDAMONE and STRAUB, Circuit Judges.

JOHN M. WALKER, JR., Chief Judge.

The United States appeals from an order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (Lawrence E. Kahn, Judge) releasing defendant John Lea on bail pending sentencing pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3145(c). The order was entered orally on November 25, 2003 and then reaffirmed in writing on December 29, 2003, following the Government's motion for reconsideration.

The pertinent facts are as follows: On November 25, 2003, a jury convicted Lea of witness retaliation, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1513(b). The evidence at trial showed that Lea had assaulted a witness who had testified against one of Lea's friends. Among the witnesses who testified against Lea at his own trial was a 13-year-old boy who lives across the street from the site of the attack.

Immediately after the verdict was rendered, the Government moved to have Lea detained pending sentencing pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3143(a)(2). The district court, without explaining its rationale, denied the request for detention and ordered that Lea be released on the same terms and conditions that had governed his pretrial release. The court scheduled Lea's sentencing for March 24, 2004.

On November 26, 2003, the Government moved for reconsideration of the court's decision to grant bail. Lea opposed the motion. A month later, on December 29, 2003, the district court affirmed its earlier decision, this time with reasons. The court found that Lea had satisfied the criteria for release under 18 U.S.C. § 3145(c) because he was not a flight risk or a danger to anyone and there were "exceptional circumstances" warranting release.

The Government filed a timely appeal.


We review the district court's release order for clear error. See United States v. LaFontaine, 210 F.3d 125, 130...

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