United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
STADTMUELLER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Curtis T. Trotter is charged by indictment with three bank
robberies occurring in October and November 2017, brandishing
a gun during each of those robberies, and possessing a gun
after having been convicted of a domestic violence crime.
(Docket #11). The government filed a criminal complaint
against Defendant on December 1, 2017. (Docket #1). Upon his
initial appearance before Magistrate Judge David E. Jones on
December 4, 2017, Magistrate Jones ordered that Defendant be
detained. (Docket #2 and #4). On December 18, 2017, Defendant
filed a motion for review of that decision in this Court
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b). (Docket #10). The next
day, the government filed its indictment. The government
responded to Defendant's motion the day after that,
(Docket #12), and Defendant has informed the Court that he
will not offer a reply.
18 U.S.C. § 3145(b), the district court reviews a
magistrate judge's bail decision de novo.
United States v. Portes, 786 F.2d 758, 761 (7th Cir.
1985). The district judge may “start from
scratch” and hold a new hearing or review the
proceedings before the magistrate. United States v.
Torres, 929 F.2d 291, 292 (7th Cir. 1991). In this case,
the Court finds the parties' written submissions and the
existing record are sufficient to conduct its review, so it
declines to hold a hearing.
defendant charged with an offense may be released on personal
recognizance, released on conditions, temporarily detained to
permit revocation of conditional release, or detained. 18
U.S.C. §§ 3142(a), (e). In determining whether
there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure
the appearance of the defendant and the safety of the
community, the court considers: (1) the nature and
circumstances of the offense charged, including whether the
offense is a crime of violence or involves a narcotic drug;
(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. Id.
person is indicted for a brandishing a firearm during a crime
of violence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), a rebuttable
presumption arises that no conditions will reasonably assure
the appearance of the defendant and the safety of the
community. Id. § 3142(e)(3)(B); United
States v. Dominguez, 783 F.2d 702, 706 n.7 (7th Cir.
1986). The presumption shifts the burden of production to the
defendant to come forward with some evidence that if released
he will not flee or endanger the community. Portes,
786 F.2d at 764. Even if it is rebutted, the presumption
nevertheless remains in the case as an evidentiary finding
militating against release, although the ultimate burden of
persuasion rests with the government. Dominguez, 783
F.2d at 707.
admits that the presumption of detention should apply.
(Docket #2). He must therefore provide some evidence that he
does not present a continuing danger of flight or violence.
Before Magistrate Jones, Defendant argued that he has a
history of mental health problems, exacerbated by
self-medication with controlled substances. Defendant also
had a mentally stressful year, including the murder of his
brother. Defendant claimed that his criminal behavior stemmed
from this mental illness and stress. Defendant proposed being
released, on location monitoring, to the care of his mother,
as well as undergoing mental health and drug treatments.
Jones found that the presumption was not overcome in light of
Defendant's criminal history, the armed, violent nature
of his crimes, his history of substance abuse, and his lack
of a stable residence or employment. (Docket #4). Upon review
of the Section 3142(g) factors, this Court agrees. Defendant
is charged with a series of violent, armed bank robberies,
and confessed to two of them. Before Magistrate Jones, this
case was based on merely a criminal complaint, but Defendant
has now been indicted. Defendant admits to illegal drug use,
having mental health issues, and a checkered criminal history
(though without a felony conviction). Finally,
Defendant's continued mental instability threatens
similarly violent behavior if he is released.
instant motion presents precisely the same arguments that
Magistrate Jones rejected. The Court concurs with Magistrate
Jones' assessment. Though Defendant claims that his
offenses came during a limited “mental breakdown”
period, this does not appear to be entirely true. Instead,
Defendant's submissions show that his mental state
remains, to put it lightly, unsettled. See (Docket
#10 at 4) (Defendant has schizophrenia and experiences
hallucinations); id. at 5 (Defendant relates that
since his brother's death, he negligently allowed his
disability benefits to lapse, squandered an auto accident
settlement, and stopped taking his prescription medication in
favor of self-medicating with illicit drugs); id. at
4 n.l (Defendant's counsel has retained a psychologist to
investigate Defendant's competence to stand trial). Thus,
even with Defendant's proposed conditions of living with
his mother and mental health and drug treatment, the Court
cannot be confident in his impulse control or his ability to
comply with the conditions he desires. The Court will not,
therefore, revoke Magistrate Jones' order of detention.
18 U.S.C. § 3145(b).
IT IS ORDERED that Defendant's motion to
review Magistrate Judge David E. Jones' detention order
of December 5, 2017 ...