United States v. Motlow

Full title: UNITED STATES v. MOTLOW et al

Court: United States District Court, M.D., Tennessee

Date published: Jun 7, 1926

Facts

The defendants, Lem Motlow, T.A. Heffernan, Harry L. Dahlman, and 14 others, were indicted by the grand jury for the Eastern Division of the Eastern Judicial District of Missouri, on May 19, 1924, for violating section 37 (conspiracy to violate the National Prohibition Act [Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, § 10138¼ et seq.]) of the Penal Code (Comp. St. § 10201). Capiases for the arrest of Lem Motlow, T.A. Heffernan, and Harry L. Dahlman were duly issued on the 19th day of May 1924 and were soon thereafter executed by arresting them and taking them before a United States commissioner, where they executed several bonds, conditioned upon their appearance before the District Court of the United States for the Eastern Division of the Eastern District of Missouri on the 17th day of September 1924, etc. Said cause was continued from time to time, by the government, over the protests of defendants. Finally, over the protest of the defendants, on the ____ day of April 1926, the indictment was placed upon the retired docket, and they were discharged on their bonds.

On October 31, 1925, the grand jury of the District Court of the United States for the District of Indiana, at Indianapolis, found and returned an indictment against Motlow, Heffernan, Dahlman, and some 36 other defendants, for violating Section 37 of the Penal Code.

Issue

Decision

The government’s counsel acknowledges the weak case and the insufficient evidence to warrant a transfer order. The Supreme Court, in the Beavers v. Henkel case, has ruled that a review of evidence does not cast suspicion on the defendants or give ground for guessing or conjecture. The order of removal is denied, and the defendants will be discharged under the writ of habeas corpus. The court does not decide if holding the case in St. Louis violates the defendant’s constitutional rights to a speedy trial, as any order would not be binding on the District Court at Indianapolis. The court is deciding that the evidence fails to make out a case of probable cause of guilt or criminal participation in the offenses alleged in the indictment.

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