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In Boston Federal Court Defendant Detained Because Cannot Live In Subsidized Housing

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

FEDERAL COURT, Dec 31 – In Boston Federal court on New Years Eve, a defendant asked to be released on bond but was remanded, with citation to rules prohibiting him from living or staying as a guest in subsidized housing for more than 14 or, he said, 30 days.    

    U.S. District Court for the District of Massachuetts Magistrate Judge Donald L. Cabell held the proceeding. Inner City Press, looking beyond SDNY when possible, live tweeted it, here: 

The US Attorney is seeking pre-trial detention for Anthony Govan. It's a presumption case, but defense is citing 820 F.Supp 2d 146...  Govan's lawyer is offering explanations for previous arrested in Dorchester and now, New Hampshire.

"The next warrant is you see is in 2016, a Roxbury Municipal Court case, it was removed the same day. He disturbed a school assembly at age 11 - why was he arrested?" 

Govan's lawyer: And in a shooting case in the Dorchester Municipal Court, he has only a $1500 bail, along with a GPS monitoring device. Add to it that we're in COVID. The virus is surging as people gather for holidays despite advice.

Govan's lawyer: He was born and raised in Boston, in Jamaica Plain.  Judge Donald L. Cabell: He couldn't reside in a subsidized unit without violating the lease... Maybe the best thing to do is to suggest that release might be appropriate if there is housing

 Judge Cabell: We could say, he'll be released when and if there is housing. Otherwise, it's a violation of the lease and the host may be evicted, we've just caused more problems. I am concerned about his background.

 Defense lawyer: There's no other place I can offer where he could live. We could search. Are you saying he'd be eligible for release except he's too poor? That he can't afford housing that is not subsidized? Judge Cabell: I didn't say it's his poverty.

Judge Cabell: I haven't seen anything in the record that he wasn't capable of working and affording his own apartment. You have to find a place where he can legally reside.  Does New Hampshire have a half-way house? Like Pine Street, here.

Judge Cabell: I'm trying to be transparent. Locate and implement a living option. For now, I would detain Mr. Govan because I find that there are no conditions that would reasonably assure his appearance at future proceedings. I am not finding danger.

Defense lawyer: What about Brook House? Probation's Ms. Thompson: I'll check.

Govan: I know for a fact it's 30 days, I grew up there.

 Judge Cabell: 30 days goes pretty quickly. You can come back to me. We are adjourned. 

The case is US v. Govan, 20-mj-01533 (D. Mass / Cabell)


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