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Pro Se Felon Won Mistrial on Gun Charge Then Pled Now US Enters Jail Call Asking 87 Months

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 23 –   James Garlick faced trial on June 5, 2023 as a felon in possession of a firearm, found with a gun on 162nd Street and Jerome Avenue by Yankee Stadium in The Bronx on August 27, 2022. 

 In 2013 after a trial, Garlick was convicted of manslaughter.s   Now Garlick wants to represent himself.

 On May 17, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Valerie E. Caproni held a Faretta hearing and determined that Garlick can represent himself. But there is no movement in the date of the trial, which Inner City Press aims to cover.

On May 19, Federal Defenders wrote it wanting out even as standby counsel, their relationship having "irreparable broken down." Judge Caproni on May 19 ordered: "the parties must appear for a status conference on Monday, May 22, 2023 at 11:00 A.M."

Inner City Press, after an 11 am Magistrates Court proceeding, ran to the courtroom and was helpfully told that Garlick will proceed pro per.

On May 26, Inner City Press went to the courtroom for Garlick's bail hearing. But the door was locked. Then this: "ORDER as to James Garlick. WHEREAS on May 23, 2023, Mr. Garlick requested a bond hearing, see Letter, Dkt. 74; WHEREAS the Court scheduled a bond hearing for May 26, 2023 at 10:45 A.M., see Order, Dkt. 75; WHEREAS in the early morning of May 26, 2023, the Court was notified that Mr. Garlick refused to come to Court because of a "religious holiday" and because of a heart condition; and WHEREAS Mr. Garlick was medically evaluated and deemed fit for Court; IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the bail hearing scheduled for May 26, 2023 at 10:45 A.M. is hereby CANCELLED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Mr. Garlick must be prepared at the Final Pre-Trial Conference, scheduled for Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 10:30 A.M., (a) to state whether he is withdrawing his bail motion, and (b) to provide the Court with a list of the names and dates of all religious holidays he wishes to celebrate between May 31, 2023, and December 31, 2023. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Final Pre-Trial Conference will take place as scheduled on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 10:30 A.M. in Courtroom 318 of the Courthouse at 40 Foley Square, New York, NY 10007. Please note that the conference will therefore not take place in the Undersigned's regular courtroom. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Mr. Garlick is hereby notified that if he refuses to attend the proceeding on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, or any future proceeding without a valid medical excuse, the Court will find that he has withdrawn his request to represent himself, will direct the Federal Defenders of New York, Inc. immediately to resume representation of him, and will consider whether his refusal to come to Court constitutes a waiver of his right to be present at his trial or whether he should be forced to come to Court. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that attached to this Order are draft voir dire questions for the parties to review ahead of the Final Pre-Trial Conference. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that standby counsel for Mr. Garlick will be provided a copy of this Order and the Court's draft voir dire questions in Word format that they must cut and paste into an email to be sent to Mr. Garlick via Corrlinks not later than 5:00 P.M. on May 26, 2023. SO ORDERED."

After that, Federal Defenders wrote it that CorrLinks says "The above-named inmate has chosen to remove your email address from his/her approved contact list and, therefore, cannot receive or sent messages to your email address."

On May 30, Judge Caproni ruled: "ORDER as to James Garlick: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Court will consider any written response from Mr. Garlick to the Governments motions in limine and supplemental motions in limine if the Court receives them by Tuesday, May 30, 2023. If the Court receives no written response to the motions in limine, Mr. Garlick may provide oral objections at the Final Pre-Trial Conference on May 31, 2023 at 10:30 A.M. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Mr. Garlick must also be prepared to disclose the name and expertise of any expert witnesses he plans to call, as well as provide a summary of their expected testimony, and must disclose an exhibit list of any exhibits he may introduce on May 31, 2023, at the Final Pre-Trial Conference. If Mr. Garlick fails to do so, the Court will consider precluding him from introducing exhibits or expert testimony at trial."

  Inner City Press went to the courtroom on May 31 but found it locked. Docketed later were Garlick's motions for recusal, removal of Stand-by Counsel, and to receive package or propery. He writes that the stop of his scooter was without probable cause, as was the search and turns up a gun. His stand-by counsel are representing another gun defendant, before Judge Rakoff, in a suppression hearing. But what will happen here?

On June 1 there was supposed to be a conference at 1 pm - but again, the door was locked. Afterwards, Federal Defenders wrote in to say they still had no CorrLinks invite; the US Attorney's Office wrote it to say one of its paralegals during a tour of the MDC "had a very brief exchange of words with James Garlick." What words?

On June 6, the prosecutors asked to change the jury charge to include an instruction about the Fourth Amendment, quoted from Garlick's questions / statements for example that "I feel that you violated my Fourth Amendment rights at the stop" (The Court: Please disregard Mr. Garlick's statements.).

On June 7, Inner City Press was present in Courtroom 318 when Garlick, with the whispered assistance of Federal Defenders, cross examined the police officer who says he found the gun in the storage compartment of Garlick's scooter. Thread:

NYPD witness has gun in 1 hand, mic in the other.

Now the scooter as well as the gun - & James Garlick - are here before the jury

 Garlick has standby counsel from Federal Defenders, who whispers Objection - then Garlick more loudly says, " Objection!"

Now he's standing to cross examine
 Garlick is reading questions, then saying, Correct? He is replaying video from outside 44th Precinct, as barrier truck with seized scooter on it arrives. He asks about another video.

Then Garlick says, I haven't see it.

AUSA: Objection! Judge: Jury will disregard

FD points Garlick to a page of his binder. He asks why officer witness did not wear gloves, when he reached into scooter storage compartment. Asks, Do you know about DNA?

AUSA: Objection!

Judge: Overruled. If he knows.

He did not.

On June 8, there were closing arguments, jury charge and deliberations until 4 pm. The verdict was reached and the jury will returned on Monday (Judge Caproni is out on Friday, she said). The prosecution emphasized that Garlick had said he wanted "artillery" without bodies on it. At day's end, Judge Caproni genially asked Garlick if he has lights in his cell, saying, I had nothing to do with it. He gave a wide smile.

On June 12, Inner City Press repeatedly checked Courtroom 318, which was empty but for the scooter. There was talk of two holdouts.

Docketed on June 13, this: "DECLARATION OF MISTRIAL as to James Garlick (1) Count 1James Garlick (1) on Count 1.... IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that not later than Friday, June 16, 2023, the parties must meet and confer and submit a joint letter to the Court identifying three possible start dates for a renewed trial before Monday, August 14, 2023. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that not later than Friday, June 23, 2023, standby counsel for Mr. Garlick must submit a letter to the Court stating whether Mr. Garlick intends to continue to represent himself in this matter or whether he would like standby counsel to represent him."

On June 16, Federal Defenders wrote to Judge Caproni that they are only available on July 24, or in September or October. They say Garlick "objects to a summer trial date and instead proposes the Court begin trial in October 2023."

Subsequently, on July 20, Garlick pled guilty pursuant to a Pimintel letter. Then the US went above that guideline calculation and asked for 87 months. They attach an empty page as an exhibit ("audio file provided by email") and a FPTC transcript that was not, for some reason, in the docket on PACER.

The audio file is described as Garlick, in a recorded jail call, telling his girlfriend "I'm about to go to Court tomorrow and act crazy and shit."

Federal Defenders say many mentally ill people say things like that. Garlick is trying to withdraw his plea, still undecided as things move toward sentencing...

 The case is US v. Garlick, 22-cr-540 (Caproni)


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