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United States v. Williams

United States District Court, E.D. New York

November 15, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
SHAROD WILLIAMS, Defendant.

          United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York, Lara Treinis Gatz, Assistant U.S. Attorney

          Gary Schoer, Esq. Counsel for the Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION & ORDER

          ARTHUR D. SPATT United States District Judge

         On December 8, 2011, after a three-week jury trial, the Defendant Sharod Williams (the “Defendant” or “Williams”) was convicted of 15 criminal counts, the same counts for which he had been indicted by a grand jury on August 12, 2010. This conviction stems from a series of robberies, which resulted in a conviction of one count of Robbery Conspiracy, two counts of Post Office and Bank Robbery Conspiracy, seven counts of Substantive Robberies, and five counts of Brandishing a Firearm in Furtherance of the Substantive Robberies. Williams was arrested on June 16, 2010 and has been incarcerated ever since. He is currently scheduled to be sentenced on December 1, 2017.

         Presently before the Court is a motion by the Defendant, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure (“Fed. R. Crim. P.” or “Rule”) 33 for a new trial based on (1) claimed ineffective assistance of counsel at trial; (2) purported newly discovered evidence; (3) alleged Brady violations; and (4) the alleged presentation of false testimony. For the following reasons, the Defendant's motion is denied in its entirety.

         I. BACKGROUND

         For the purposes of this motion, familiarity with the underlying trial record, which spans almost two thousand (2, 000) transcribed pages, is presumed. The Court's discussion of the evidence adduced at the trial will be limited to the specific challenges presently raised by the Defendant. In this regard, references to the trial transcript are denoted as “Tr.”

         As stated above, on December 8, 2011, after a three-week trial, the jury convicted the Defendant on 15 counts of criminal conduct. The Defendant's trial counsel, Randi Chavis, Esq., requested that the Court poll the jury. The Court obliged counsel's request and the polling revealed that the jury's verdict was unanimous on all counts. Tr. 1870-1919 (“Let the record indicate that the oral polling exactly coincides with the written verdict sheet, and the foreman's oral recitation of the verdict.”). After the Court recessed the jury, Ms. Chavis requested the right to reserve ten days to submit post-trial motions to the Court. The Court granted Ms. Chavis's request. Tr. 1919.

         Sentencing was originally scheduled for March 23, 2011. Since then, the Court has granted more than twenty motions to adjourn the Defendant's sentencing. At this juncture, sentencing has been delayed more than six years from its original scheduled date.

         On September 18, 2014, Gary Schoer, Esq was appointed under the Criminal Justice Act as the Defendant's counsel to replace Ms. Chavis.

         On October 3, 2014, Mr. Schoer asked the Court for a postponement of sentencing for the first time, citing his continuing review of the Presentence Report. See Docket Entry (“DE”) 382. The Court granted this request. See DE 383.

         On January 29, 2015, the Court again granted a request by Mr. Schoer to continue sentencing to allow for additional time to review the trial transcript. See DE 396-97.

         On April 13, 2015, Mr. Schoer again asked the Court to continue the sentencing, asserting for the first time that he was “presently researching and investigating various issues that [he] intend[s] to raise on Mr. William's [sic] behalf as part of his sentence proceeding.” DE 406. This request was once again granted. See DE 407.

         For more than a year and a half, Mr. Schoer continued to ask, and this Court continued to grant, sentencing adjournments to investigate issues he planned to raise “as part of his sentence proceeding.” See, e.g., DE 443-44.

         On September 30, 2016, Mr. Schoer requested a sentencing adjournment “in light of a motion [he] expect[ed] to file on December 9, 2016[.]” DE 462. This request was granted. See DE 463.

         The present motion in this action was filed on December 9, 2016 by the Defendant seeking a new trial, or alternatively an ...


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