Federal charges dismissed against ex-deputy jailer

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Defendant objects to dismissal; state indictment possible

By Stephen Lega

Federal charges agains a former Marion County Detention Center employee were dismissed last month, even after the defendant objected to how the case was dismissed.
The federal prosecutor noted in his motion for dismissal that he anticipates that the former deputy jailer will be indicated by the state.
Shawn Perkins, 37, was one of two deputy jailers who were arrested Sept. 21, 2011. Both were indicted Nov. 22, 2011, in U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky, in Louisville.
The other deputy jailer, Michael Cook, 26, pled guilty in April 2012 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute Oxycontin, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and providing and attempting to provide contraband in prison.
Cook was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison (with the condition that he would not serve his sentence at the Marion County Detention Center), and he was fined $300. Cook will remain under federal supervision for two years after he is released from prison.
Perkins was indicted on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, attempting to provide prohibited objects (including Hydrocodone, oxycodone, marijuana and cellular telephones) to an inmate of the detention center, and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute Hydrocodone.
Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Scott Davis filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Perkins on Aug. 9.
“In support of this motion, the United States submits that the defendant is to be indicted in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and is therefore subject to effective prosecution in another jurisdiction for the crimes charged,” the motion to dismiss reads.
That same day, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II issued an order to dismiss “the Federal Indictment in Lieu of State Prosecution.”
On Aug. 12, attorney David A. Lambertus filed a response opposing the dismissal on Perkins’ behalf.
Lambertus wrote that the trial had been scheduled to go to trial in August and the defendant had not requested a continuance.
Lambertus further requested that the charges be dismissed with prejudice “so that the defendant does not have to suffer the uncertainty of potentially being re-indicted and having to start the entire defense process over again.”
He cited Rule 48(a), which he wrote is to protect a defendant’s rights “to prevent harassment of a defendant by charging, dismissing and re-charging” that individual.
Davis filed a reply to Lambertus’ motion on Aug. 14. Davis another section of Rule 48(a), which requires the court to grant the prosecutors’ request for dismissal unless that dismissal is “clearly contrary to manifest public interest.”
Judge Heyburn issued a memorandum opinion and order upholding the dismissal on Aug. 23. Heyburn wrote that the defense failed to offer compelling reasons to show that Perkins would be harmed by the dismissal.
Heyburn continued to write that the ruling does not affect double jeopardy concerns, and the case is not bound by speedy trial requirements because of a previous motion by the defense motion to have the case declared complex.
As such the federal charges were dismissed without prejudice.