UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Criminal No. 84-00255
ELLEN BENJAMIN, also known as
DAVID B. MANNING
WAYNE THOMAS, also known as
GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION
_________FOR A BILL OF PARTICULARS_______
The United States of America, by its attorney, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, hereby responds to the defendants' motions for a bill of particulars.
1. On or about 6:15 a.m., on June 6, 1984, the defendants were arrested after they were observed to be in violation of the Code of Federal Regulations prohibition (36 CFR 50.27, 50.5) against "camping" in federal parkland and "storage" of personal property. The arrests followed observations of the defendants for approximately 30 minutes during which they were asleep in the area of the south sidewalk of Lafayette Park. Mr. William Thomas and his wife slept together; Mr. Manning, Mr. Nelson and Mr. Wayne Thomas (who also gives his name as William Thomas) were sleeping together using a knapsack as a pillow; Mr. Dorrough was sleeping adjacent to a sheltering sign; while Ms. Picciotto was asleep under a blanket. When Ms. Picciotto was aroused, she got up and her blanket fell away. She was observed to be nude from the waist down.
The defendants were all sleeping within a few feet of each other with the exception of Ms. Picciotto, who was sleeping in an area separated from the others by a sidewalk. She was not more than about twenty feet from the others and was surrounded by painted signs similar to those in immediate proximity to the others. Following the arrests, a large quantity of personal property, signs, and other paraphenalia (including a filing cabinet containing volumes of the Code of Federal Regulations) which was stored in the area of the sleeping defendants was seized as evidence incident to the arrest.
The camping and storage regulations at issue (36 C.F.R. Sections 50.5 and 50.27) cover a wide variety of activities including sleeping and making preparations to sleep and other activities which in the totality of the circumstances establish that a person is using a park as a "living accommodation" rather than as a temporary resting spot. The Government expects the evidence to establish that the defendants in this case were sleeping on the morning in question in conjunction with personal property and property of others which will show beyond a reasonable doubt that they were using the park at that time as a living accomodation.
Since the property seized apparently includes property belonging to each of the defendants and since the defendants did not identify particular articles of it as theirs, we invite them to inspect the property held as evidence at the U.S. Park Police Property Office on August 28, 1984 at 8 a.m. in order that they may see the evidence which will be introduced against them. For further information and directions, counsel may contact Sgt. Phil Malhoyt at 426-6710.
The precise locations where the defendants were observed to be sleeping and the particular items of property that were in their immediate vicinity are shown in the pictures that the police took immediately following the arrests and before the property was packed up for transportation to the property office. These pictures have been shown to all counsel who have come in for discovery and photocopies have been made available to counsel upon request. Since the time of the discovery conferences, Government counsel has learned that the area where Concepcion Picciotto was is displayed in photos numbered 0-0A 1-1A, 1A-2 (also William Thomas), 3 and 4, 4-5A, 6-8A, 9, 10-10A, 11-11A, 12, and 13; Pictures numbered 13, 21, 4396, 22-22A, 22-23, 28 show the area where David Manning, Anthony Nelson, and Wayne Thomas (also known as William Thomas) were Sleeping when arrested; pictures numbered 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 27 show the area where Robert Dorrough was sleeping; Pictures 1A-2, 20, 22-23, and 28 show the area where William and Ellen Thomas were located; and pictures numbered 13, 14A and 15 show areas within close proximity to all of the defendants but do not specifically show the locations where the defendants were when arrested.
In addition to the items listed on the property inventory list which was read to all counsel who sought discovery, we have displayed to Ms. Picciotto's counsel the pictures that were taken in Ms. Picciotto's presence of the items in her purse that were released to her at her request. In addition, we have photocopies of food stamps and money that was released to Ms. Picciotto shortly after her arrest.
The Government has recently (on August 21st) obtained a copy of the police radio tape for this offense which is available for review at the office of Government counsel.
We have declined to release police reports that would not ordinarily be available to the public which are Jencks material (i.e. the case incident report). They will be provided in the event that the author testifies at trial upon the conclusion of the author's direct testimony. They are not otherwise discoverable.
WHEREFORE, the Government submits that the defendants' motions for bills of particulars should be denied.
JOSEPH E. DIGENOVA
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
By __/s/Pamela B. Stuart__
Pamela B. Stuart
Assistant united States Attorney