United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
XINIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendant Roy David Evans' Motion to
Continue Trial. ECF No. 57. For the following reasons,
Defendant's Motion is GRANTED.
August 22, 2016, Defendant Roy David Evans was charged in a
six-count indictment with one count of coercion and
enticement of a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
2422(b); two counts of receipt of child pornography, in
violation of 18 U.S.C § 2252A(a)(2); two counts of
production of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 2251(a); and one count of possession of child
pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B).
These counts relate to Minor #1 who is 16 years old currently
and was fourteen years old at the time of the alleged crimes.
ECF No. 1.
August 29, 2017, the grand jury returned a fourteen-count
superseding indictment, charging Mr. Evans with additional
and similar counts related to two other minors. Minor #2 was
15 years old at the time of the alleged incidents and is 17
years old now. Minor #3 was fourteen years old at the time of
the alleged incidents and is now 16 years old now. ECF No.
was originally scheduled to begin October 4, 2017. Evans,
through retained counsel, moved for a continuance to retain a
forensic expert. ECF No. 44. During the course of that
process, and while the Court initially denied that motion, it
came to the Court's attention that this case is far more
complex, and the discovery vast in its kind and breadth, than
what appeared at first blush. Accordingly, on September 25,
2017, the Court designated this case formally as complex and
appointed the Federal Public Defender to represent the
Defendant in addition to Mr. Owens. The Court did so after
reviewing Mr. Evans' financial affidavit and finding that
he no longer has resources to pay for additional retained
counsel going forward, nor does he have funds to pay for any
necessary experts at trial or, in the event he is convicted,
at sentencing. At that time, the Court also set a new trial
date to begin in January 2018, but this date was chosen
without the input of new defense counsel, and it was
acknowledged that the Court may postpone the trial to a later
date if sufficient justification is made.
Assistant Federal Public Defender, Andrew Szekely, was
appointed specifically to represent Mr. Evans. On November 6,
2017, during a recorded status conference, Mr. Szekely
requested additional time beyond the January 30, 2018 trial
date to prepare. The Government objected, arguing that under
18 U.S.C. § 3509(j), a speedier trial date is warranted,
and should the court disagree, it must make written findings
of fact and conclusions of law. After receiving additional
briefing from both parties (ECF Nos. 57, 58), the Court is
prepared to do so now.
Findings of Fact
Defendant is charged in a fourteen count indictment with
extremely serious offenses, carrying substantial criminal
penalties, including several mandatory minimum terms of
imprisonment of at least fifteen years. If convicted of all
fourteen counts, Defendant risks spending the better part of
his remaining life in prison.
Defendant consents to continue the trial date beyond January
defense counsel, Andrew Szekely of the Office of the Federal
Public Defender, was appointed in late September 2017. Were
this case to proceed in January, Mr. Szekely would have had
just four months to prepare this case in addition to the many
other cases for which he is responsible. Mr. Szekely has
informed the Court that his criminal docket is otherwise
heavy and requires additional time to prepare for trial in
this case. Given that Mr. Szekely intends to play an active
and integral part of Mr. Evans' defense, a January 2018
does not provide sufficient time for Mr. Szekely to prepare
in a constitutionally adequate manner.
Szekely has retained and is using a computer forensic expert
and an investigator, both of whom need additional time to
complete the tasks related to their roles in the defense
case. For example, as part of the investigation, the defense
investigator is awaiting documents from outstanding records
Discovery produced or available for review is voluminous. It
consists of evidence recovered from the execution of 14
search warrants (including photographic and video evidence),
two photo arrays, and 5, 000 pages of non-bates numbered
discovery. The Court notes that the Government has proffered
that it does not intend to introduce at trial the evidence
obtained from many of the search warrants and from one of the
photo arrays. While this may be true, that only lightens the
defense attorney's burden slightly. This is so because it
is reasonable to expect that adequate defense investigation
and preparation involves review of all evidence provided
Defense counsel is still expecting to receive metadata from
the images and video of child pornography if available. As of
the written briefing, such ...