United States District Court, D. Nevada
J. KOPPE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
October 7, 2019, a criminal complaint was issued, charging
Defendant Michael Andrew Watson with operating a motor
vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, in violation of
36 C.F.R. § 4.23(a)(1); operating a motor vehicle with a
BAC of 0.08 grams and higher, in violation of 36 C.F.R.
§ 4.23(a)(2); driving without a valid driver's
license, in violation of 36 C.F.R. § 4.2(b) and N.RS.
§ 483.550(1); and harassment, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 13 and N.R.S. § 200.571(a)(1). Docket No. 1.
wife is the alleged victim in the harassment charge, which
alleges that Defendant told his wife “The kids will be
better off without you, ” “I'm going to bury
you, ” “I'll dig with my hands, ” and
“They won't find you until you start to
smell.” Id. at 3. The complaint further
alleges that Defendant told the couple's 4- and 1-year
old children that it was “time to say bye bye to
mommy.” Id. at 3, 7. Additionally, the
complaint alleges that Defendant's wife stated she was
“99%” certain that Defendant was going to harm
her or kill her. Id. The complaint also alleges that
a security officer heard one of Defendant's children say,
“My daddy is going to buy my mommy, ” and that
another security officer observed Defendant's wife mouth
the word “Help me” to him. Id. at 4.
October 7, 2019, Defendant appeared before the Court for his
initial appearance and arraignment and plea. Docket No. 2.
After he was arraigned, the United States' moved for
Defendant's detention pending trial. Id.
Defendant objected to any detention hearing occurring as, he
submitted, the United States had not met its burden under 18
U.S.C. § 3142(f) that would allow the Court to hold a
detention hearing. Id. The Court allowed the parties
to brief the issue. Id.
United States submits that Defendant presents both a serious
risk of flight and a serious risk of threat, injury, or harm
to his wife. Docket No. 7 at 3. Further, the United States
submits that harassment is a crime of violence. Id.
In support of its contention that Defendant is a serious risk
of flight, the United States submits that Defendant has only
lived in Nevada for two months; lives in weekly housing for
which the next week has not been paid; has unverified
employment; has no family ties in this community, but has
immediate family living in California; drives a vehicle
registered in California; possesses a California
identification card; possesses a United States passport; has
dual citizenship with the United States and Costa Rica; has
failed to appear in court at least three times in the past
four years; and has an outstanding warrant in Texas.
Id. In support of its contention that Defendant
poses a serious risk to his wife, the United States submits
that he threatened to harm her as part of the behavior in the
instant case; he has been arrested at least three times in
the past four years for battery or assault; he has been
arrested at least once in the past two years for violating a
protective order; and he has an outstanding warrant for
assault. Id. at 3-4. Finally, the United States
submits that harassment constitutes a crime of violence under
the Bail Reform Act, which entitles the United States to
request a detention hearing under 18 U.S.C. §
3142(f)(1). Id. at 4. Therefore, the United States
asks the Court to allow a detention hearing to proceed in the
instant case. Id. at 5.
submits that the offenses with which he is charged to not
trigger any detention factor under 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f)
and, therefore, the Court lacks jurisdiction to hold a
detention hearing. Docket No. 9 at 1. Defendant submits that
this case does not fall under 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f)(1) at
all and, therefore, the Court must look to 18 U.S.C. §
3142(f)(2). Id. at 2-3. Defendant further submits
that the United States moved in court on “an ordinary
risk of nonappearance and danger to the community.”
Id. at 5. Therefore, Defendant asks the Court to
find that no detention hearing may occur in the instant case.
Id. at 9.
18, United States Code, Section 3142(f)(2) provides that:
The judicial officer shall hold a hearing to determine
whether any condition or combination of conditions set forth
in subsection (c) of this section will reasonably assure the
appearance of such person as required and the safety of any
other person and the community-
(2) upon motion of the attorney for the Government or upon
the judicial officer's own motion in a case, that
(A) a serious risk that such person will flee; or
(B) a serious risk that such person will obstruct or attempt
to obstruct justice, or threaten, injure, or intimidate, or
attempt to threaten, injure, or intimidate, a prospective
witness or juror.
a detention hearing will not proceed at all unless the case
itself involves a serious risk that Defendant will flee or a
serious risk that he will obstruct justice or ...