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Skyfield Wanted Speedy Trial on Bronx Ammo Charge Pled Guilty Now Delay to June 18

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 25 – Tyriek Skyfield was arrested and charged with being a felon in possession of ammo, after a shooting in The Bronx. He demanded a Speedy Trial.  

  Next he wanted to plead guilty on January 3, 2024, the prosecutors over the New Year holiday said. It took place, and Inner City Press was there, see below.

 Back on November 9, 2023 he appeared before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lewis J. Liman for a change of counsel. Inner City Press was there.

 The first counsel said he would be unable to represent Skyfield in any trial in the 70 days of the Speedy Trial Act.

 The day's CJA lawyer said the same.   Judge Liman said his deputy will try to find a CJA lawyer who can, and set a January 16, 2024 trial date.

After first appearing to say that the AUSA requested "wiggle room" was no ground to exclude time, he nevertheless excluded time for a week, to find another lawyer. 

  To some, it might appear that fights under the Speedy Trial Act are contingent on being able to pay for counsel. 

 The complaint has photos depicting Skyfield at the shooting, then entering a Bronx strip club wearing what the AUSA said was a distinctive graphic T-shirt.

On November 16, Skyfield got new CJA counsel.

On December 19 Judge Liman heard argument on Skyfield's motion to suppress, including his counsel energetically questioning the roles of NYPD and Probation in identifying Skyfield, and seizing his phone during arrest in New Rochelle. Judge Liman took that under advisement, but denied release on bond under the Violation of Supervised Release standard.

On December 22 Judge Liman denied the motions to dismiss and suppress, noting the argument that Probation Officer Pompei had acted as a stalking horse for the NYPD - and that the Ninth Circuit theory does not hold in the 2d.

On December 31, the AUSA wrote in that Skyfield wants to plead guilty on January 3 and if Judge Liman is not available, wants to do it in the Magistrates Court in light of the January 16 trial date....

Judge Liman scheduled the plea for January 3 at 10:30 am. Then Skyfield's counsel put in a letter and attached emails with the US Attorney's Office, in which that Office declined to agree to a conditional plea, or to a bench trial with stipulated facts. (Note that in US v. Jatiek Smith the Office opposed a bench trial, but Judge Rakoff still granted and held one).

On January 3, Judge Liman said he did not have the power to make the prosecutors agree to a conditional plea - and would not do so, even if he could. He said it was not a close question. Skyfield proceeded to plead guilty.

On April 23, Skyfield's counsel wrote in that he was not seeking to commit a robbery and that 60 months would be appropriate.

On May 21, the US Attorney's Office wrote it and asking for 151 months; sentencing was set for May 28 at 2 pm.

But on May 24 Skyfield's sentencing was pushed back to June 18 at 10:30 am.

 The case is US v. Skyfield, 23-cr-569 (Liman)


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