United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
STADTMUELLER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Derrick L. Harris (“Harris”) is charged in a
three-count indictment with offenses relating to retaliating
against a police informant. (Docket #1). The three charges
are: (1) conspiracy to retaliate against an informant, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1513(b)(2) and (f); (2)
obstruction of justice by attempting to kill an informant, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1513(a)(1)(B); and (3)
discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(iii).
October 12, 2017, Harris was ordered detained pending trial
by Magistrate Judge Nancy Joseph. (Docket #21). He sought
modification of the order on November 28, 2017, asking that
he be granted pretrial release on supervision. (Docket #52).
Magistrate Joseph declined to modify the detention order.
(Docket #63). Harris now seeks review of that decision in
this Court pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b). (Docket
#64). For the reasons stated below, the Court will reverse
the bond decision of the magistrate judge.
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 Harris' request for 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). Detention is appropriate
only where there are no conditions of pretrial release that
will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant and
the safety of the community. Id. § 3142(e). In
determining whether there are satisfactory release
conditions, the court considers: (1) the nature and
circumstances of the offense charged, including whether the
offense is a crime of violence or involves narcotics; (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.
§ 3142(g). To sustain its burden, the government must
prove by clear and convincing evidence that no condition or
set of conditions will ensure the safety of the community or
the defendant's appearance. Id. §
3142(f)(2)(B); Portes, 786 F.2d at 764.
court finds probable cause to believe that the defendant
committed an offense under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), a
rebuttable presumption arises that no conditions will
reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant or the
safety of the community. Id. § 3142(e)(3)(B).
An indictment charging such an offense is sufficient to
trigger the presumption. 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. The
rebuttal burden is “not a heavy one to meet, ”
but even if the presumption is rebutted, it 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.
arguments implicate both his personal background and a
careful review of what precisely occurred on August 8, 2017,
the night of the offense conduct. The Court will summarize
the pertinent facts below.
is a 26-year-old law enforcement officer. He is married and
has two young children. He lacks a prior criminal record
despite growing up in a dangerous neighborhood in Chicago. He
has a bachelor's degree from Illinois State University.
At the time of the offense conduct, he had two jobs, one as a
correctional officer at a juvenile detention center and one
at Home Depot. He reports that prior to the instant offense,
he was in the “final stages” of being accepted
for a position at the Chicago Police Department. He also
holds a concealed-carry gun permit valid for both Illinois
evening of August 8, 2017, Harris and his co-defendants Jose
Lazcon (“Lazcon”), Michael Bonds
(“Bonds”), and Rashawn Bumpus
(“Bumpus”) were patrons at Cham Tap in Mount
Pleasant, Wisconsin. Harris says he met Lazcon through
playing internet basketball with him and that this night was
the second time they had ever met in person. The bar captured
most of the relevant events on surveillance cameras and audio
has two entryways: one on Durand Avenue near the bar's
parking lot and one on Gates Street. Eventually, the four men
left Cham Tap through the door on Durand Avenue. Just as the
defendants left, AV1, a confidential informant in the case of
United States v. Tirado, 16-CR-168-LA (E.D. Wis.),
entered the tavern through the door near Gates Street and sat
at the bar. Meanwhile, in the parking lot the four defendants
said their goodbyes and Harris, Bonds, and Bumpus entered a
white Chevrolet Malibu and left.
re-entered the bar through the Durand Avenue door and
observed AV1 sitting at the bar. He immediately exited the
bar and yelled to his co-defendants, who had already left the
area. While in the parking lot, Lazcon placed a phone call
and insisted, “Come back! Come back! That guy who did
my bro is here. . . . Come back!” Shortly thereafter,
Harris, Bonds, and Bumpus returned. They exited the Malibu
and met with Lazcon, who was animated and appeared eager to
confront the informant.
four men re-entered Cham Tap and immediately encircled AV1
from behind and verbally confronted him. Harris was seated at
the bar, near AV1, when Lazcon announced to the bar patrons,
“That's the snitch who told on my brother!”
Harris was the first to approach AV1 and made aggressive
advances against him. Several bar patrons ...