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United States v. Jones

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

July 29, 2015

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Jamie D. Jones, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted December 12, 2014

Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri - Kansas City.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Jeffrey Q. McCarther, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, Leena V. Ramana, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Kansas City, MO.

Jamie D. Jones, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Forrest City, AR.

For Jamie D. Jones, Defendant - Appellant: Robert L. Tucker, Saint Louis, MO.

Before WOLLMAN, COLLOTON, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

BENTON, Circuit Judge.

A jury convicted Jamie Duwayne Jones on two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). He appeals, claiming the magistrate judge[1] did not adequately inquire into his pre-trial pro se motion to substitute counsel, his rights under the Speedy Trial Act were violated, and the government engaged in prosecutorial misconduct by introducing a prejudicial video (which the district court[2] played during deliberations). Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court affirms.

I.

Jones was arraigned on October 23, 2012. The magistrate judge appointed counsel and set a November 26 trial date. His attorney sought five continuances. The first request asked for time to negotiate a plea agreement. The next two, for time to provide substantial assistance before entering a plea agreement. The last two, for time to respond to an additional charge in a superseding indictment. Each stated that Jones wanted to assist the government and agreed that it was " in his best interests to waive his rights to a speedy trial." The district court granted each continuance " in the interest of justice."

Jones filed a pro se motion for ineffective assistance of counsel on July 15, 2013--about five weeks before trial. Jones listed his reasons for new counsel in these words:

(1) Dose not take my Phone calls no more.
(2) She tells me she is coming to see me so we can get ready for trial. (never dose)
(3) I've been to Pre-trial twice now. Both times I never went to trial. She Contenue each time. I've wrote her and made it Court record that I ...

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