US v. Hart, No. 20-4534 (4th Cir. 2024)Annotate this Case
Kenneth Hart was convicted of drug dealing, sex trafficking, and witness tampering. He appealed his convictions, arguing that the government violated the Speedy Trial Act by failing to indict him for the witness tampering charge within thirty days of his arrest. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed that the government violated the Speedy Trial Act on the witness tampering conviction, but rejected his evidentiary challenges.
The court held that the government failed to indict Hart for witness tampering within the Speedy Trial Act’s thirty-day window. So it vacated only Hart’s witness-tampering conviction and remanded the case for resentencing on the four counts added by the superseding indictment. Hart also contended that the district court erred by allowing certain prejudicial evidence at trial, but the court disagreed and affirmed the district court’s rulings on these evidentiary challenges.