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U.S. v. Matthew D. Thomas: Docket 19-CR-20681

In an effort to assist those individuals who have been affected by this case, this webpage has been developed to provide court and case related information. This does not replace written notification to those identified as victims of the charged offenses (which currently include distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography), it simply provides an additional resource from which to obtain information.

Please note that all court hearings will take place in United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226.   Please refer to the individual posting for judge assignment and courtroom number.  If you plan on attending any of the court proceedings, photo identification is required.  Cell phones, electronic devices and weapons of any kind, are not permitted.   Please pardon our appearance, the courthouse is currently undergoing renovations.  



Please Note - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic scheduled court hearing dates are frequently changing.  Please check this website for the most up to date court hearing dates or contact Victim Witness Coordinator, Sandy Palazzolo at 313-226-9633.



10/27/2021 - Defendant Matthew David Thomas was sentenced by Judge Nancy G. Edmunds to a term of 24 years imprisonment.  

Following release from prison he will be under supervised release for a term of 8 years by the United States Probation Department. 


09/27/2021 - REMINDER: The Sentencing Hearing for Matthew David Thomas is scheduled to take place on October 27, 2021 at 11:45 a.m.   This hearing will be an in person hearing before the Honorable Nancy G. Edmunds, United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226.   Virtual viewing of this hearing is not available. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please be advised that the court has implemented Courthouse and Courtroom Rules of Conduct when attending in person court proceedings.   The Rules of Conduct are accessible from the U.S. District Court website: http://www.mied.uscourts.gov/index.cfm?pageFunction=covidinfo

IMPORTANT:  If you plan on attending the hearing you must contact Victim Witness Coordinator, Sandy Palazzolo (313-226-9633) or Victim Witness Specialist, Sherri Holloway (313-226-9753).   Information regarding the number of attendees must be provided to the court so the appropriate accommodations can be made.    

The Crime Victims Rights Act gives victims the right to be heard at any public sentencing hearing, among other rights. A victim is defined as anyone directly or proximately harmed by the offense, which is usually someone named or referred to in a charge or plea agreement. The judge must consider the impact on the victim(s) when determining the sentence. The judge may consider other evidence of the impact that the crime has had on members of the public, usually presented in the form of letters or written statements.

If you think you may be a victim of a charged offense, or would like to provide a statement as a member of the public, please contact Victim Witness Coordinator, Sandy Palazzolo (313-226-9633)  or Victim Witness Specialist, Sherri Holloway (313-226-9753) for more information.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office will review any statements, other than those submitted by a victim, to ensure they are relevant and appropriate before submitting them to the judge for consideration.   

Impact statements must be submitted to the United States Attorney’s Office on or before October 20, 2021.   Please e-mail submissions to sherri.holloway@usdoj.gov and sandy.palazzolo@usdoj.gov.


08/19/2021 - The Sentencing Hearing for Matthew David Thomas has been adjourned.   The hearing is now scheduled to take place on October 27, 2021 at 11:45 a.m.   At this time the docket reflects that this will be an in-person court hearing, to take place before the Honorable Nancy G. Edmunds, United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226.   Updates will be posted to this webpage as new information becomes available.  

For questions or additional information, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator, at 313-226-9633 or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist, at 313-226-9753.


06/15/2021 - The Crime Victims Rights Act gives victims the right to be heard at any public sentencing hearing, among other rights. A victim is defined as anyone directly or proximately harmed by the offense, which is usually someone named or referred to in a charge or plea agreement. The judge must consider the impact on the victim(s) when determining the sentence. The judge may consider other evidence of the impact that the crime has had on members of the public, usually presented in the form of letters or written statements.

If you think you may be a victim of a charged offense, or would like to provide a statement as a member of the public, please contact Victim Witness Coordinator, Sandy Palazzolo (313-226-9633)  or Victim Witness Specialist, Sherri Holloway (313-226-9753) for more information.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office will review any statements, other than those submitted by a victim, to ensure they are relevant and appropriate before submitting them to the judge for consideration.   

Impact statements must be submitted to the United States Attorney’s Office on or before July 15, 2021.   Please e-mail submissions to sandy.palazzolo@usdoj.gov and sherri.holloway@usdoj.gov.


05/26/2021 - Defendant Matthew David Thomas entered a plea of guilty before the Honorable Nancy Edmunds.   A Sentencing Hearing has been scheduled to take place on September 13, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.   It is unclear at this time if the Sentencing Hearing will take place in person or virtual broadcast via Zoom Meeting.   If access is permitted via Zoom Meeting, the link will be posted to this website. 

For questions or additional information, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator, at 313-226-9633 or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist, at 313-226-9753.


05/14/2021 - A Plea Hearing has been scheduled to take place on May 26, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.   A virtual broadcast of this hearing will be available via Zoom Meeting.   The access link for this hearing is identified below.   Before accessing this hearing, please note the Local Court Rules which prohibit the recording and of US District Court Hearings.    

For questions or additional information, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator, at 313-226-9633 or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist, at 313-226-9753.

IMPORTANT

The information you provide will not be forwarded, distributed or shared with other parties with the exception of the U.S. Marshals Service for violations of court rules.

Any recording of a court proceeding held by video or teleconference, including "screenshots" or other visual copying of a hearing, is absolutely prohibited.

Violation of these prohibitions may result in sanctions, including removal of court-issued media credentials, restricted entry to future hearings, denial of entry to future hearings, or any other sanctions deemed necessary by the court. Members of the press and the public are also expected to mute their phones during telephonic hearings and to not disrupt proceedings in any manner.

Local Rule 83.32( (e)(2): "Taking photographs or video recordings in connection with any Judicial Proceeding... and the recording or broadcasting of Judicial Proceedings by radio or television or other means is prohibited."

https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1605606349?pwd=WEthaStZeUEzNUtpZ21qejc1bjBCZz09

 

03/18/2021 - The Status Hearing originally scheduled for March 22, 2021 has been RESCHEDULED.  The Status Hearing is now scheduled to take place on April 26, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. 

The Tentative Trial date previously scheduled to begin on April 12, 2021 has also been RESCHEDULED.   A new Tentative Trial date has been scheduled to begin on May 18, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.

Please be advised that the United States District Courthouse remains closed to the public due to the current situation relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.   As a result, these dates and times may change, and could change on very short notice.   If you wish to attend any of the scheduled hearings, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage to confirm the date and time.


01/15/2021 - The Pretrial Conference has been RESCHEDULED by the Court to 03/22/2021 at 10:30 a.m.  

A Tentative Trial date has been rescheduled and is scheduled to begin on 04/12/2021 at 9:00 a.m.   

Please be advised that the United States District Courthouse remains closed to the public due to the current situation relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.   As a result, these dates and times may change, and could change on very short notice.   If you wish to attend any of the scheduled hearings, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage to confirm the date and time.


10/8/2020 - The Pretrial Conference has been RESCHEDULED by the Court to 01/20/2021 at 10:00 a.m.  

A Tentative Trial date has been scheduled to begin on 02/02/2021 at 9:00 a.m.   

Please be advised that the United States District Courthouse remains closed to the public due to the current situation relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.   As a result, these dates and times may change, and could change on very short notice.   If you wish to attend any of the scheduled hearings, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage to confirm the date and time.


7/1/2020 - The Pretrial Conference originally scheduled for July 9, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. has been RESCHEDULED by the Court.   The Pretrial Conference will is now scheduled to take place on July 28, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Because of the Court’s schedule and the current pandemic, hearing dates could change on very short notice.  If you plan on attending the Pretrial Conference hearing or Trial, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage to confirm the date and time. 


5/12/20 -  On May 6, 2020, citing many factors, including a stipulation by Government counsel and Defense counsel, Judge Nancy Edmunds ordered that the time period May 26, 2020 through and including August 3, 2020, shall be deemed excludable delay under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 USC 3161(h)(7)(A).  

As a result, a Status Hearing/Pre-Trial Conference has been scheduled for July 9, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.   A tentative Trial date has been re-set to August 3, 2020, 9:000 a.m. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Because of the Court’s schedule and the current pandemic, hearing dates could change on very short notice.  If you plan on attending the Pretrial Conference hearing or Trial, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage to confirm the date and time. 


12/17/2019 - The Court scheduled a Final Pretrial Conference for May 5, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.  A Trial has been tentatively scheduled to begin on May 26, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. 

Please Note: This matter has been reassigned to Judge Nancy Edmunds, therefore, all hearings will take place in Courtroom 811, United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226.

If you plan on attending the court hearings, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage, to confirm the date and time.  It is not uncommon for hearing dates to change, and on occasion, the changes may be made at the lat minute.  Cell phones and other electronic devicees are not permitted in the courthouse.


12/11/2019 - The Court has re-sceduled the Pretrial Conference.   The hearing will now take place on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.   Please be advised that this case has been reassigned to Judge Nancy Edmunds, Courtroom 811, United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226. 

PLEASE NOTE:  If you plan on attending the Pretrial Conference hearing, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage, to confirm the date and time.  It is not uncommon for hearing dates to change, and on occasion, the changes may be made at the lat minute.  Cell phones and other electronic devicees are not permitted in the courthouse.


12/9/2019 - The Court cancelled the Pretrial Conference which had been scheduled for December 11, 2019.   A new date has not yet been scheduled but will be posted to this web page as soon as a date is provided by the Court. 


10/5/2019 - The Court cancelled the Pretrial Conference scheduled for November 6, 2019, 11:30 a.m.  The hearing has been rescheduled for December 11, 2019, 11:00 a.m. before the Honorable Avern Cohn, Courtroom 225, United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226. 

PLEASE NOTE:  If you plan on attending the Pretrial Conference hearing, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage to confirm the date and time.  It is not uncommon for hearing dates to change, and on occasion, the changes may be made at the last minute.  Cell phones and other electronic devices are not permitted in the courthouse.    


10/22/2019 - PLEASE NOTE: There has been a time change for the scheduled Pretrial Conference on November 6, 2019.   This is a TIME CHANGE only.  This hearing will now take place at 11:30 a.m. on November 6, 2019


10/16/2019 – The Court scheduled a Pretrial Conference for November 6, 2019, 10:30 a.m. before the Honorable Avern Cohn, Courtroom 225, United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226.   PLEASE NOTE:  If you plan on attending the Pretrial Conference hearing, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage to confirm the date and time.  It is not uncommon for hearing dates to change, and on occasion, the changes may be made at the last minute. 


10/11/2019 - On October 8, 2019 a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Mathew D. Thomas with two counts of production of child pornography, one count of transportation of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.   With the return of the indictment, the preliminary exam is no longer necessary and has been cancelled.  Please note that the indictment is only an accusation.   The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.   

Defendant Thomas was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Mona Majzoub on October 11, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.   At that hearing, the defendant received a copy of the charges, a plea of "not guilty" was entered by the Court on his behalf, and detention was continued.   The next step in the criminal justice process will be the scheduling of a trial date.  The assigned United States District Court Judge,  the Honorable Avern Cohn, will schedule this date.   Updates, to include scheduled court hearings, will be posted to this website as soon as they become available.   

For a copy of the Indictment, please click HERE.


10/7/2019 –  Matthew D. Thomas consented to detention, reserving his right to raise the issue of bond at a later date if he desires.  The defendant will remain in jail under the custody of the US Marshal Service.   A Preliminary Exam was scheduled by the court to take place on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.   Preliminary Exams are rarely held in federal court.   For this reason, it is recommended that you contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753) to confirm the date and time.   

Updates to court hearings along with other case related information will be posted to this webpage as information becomes available. 


10/4/19 -  Matthew David Thomas was arrested and charged with production of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and receipt of child pornography.    He appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Steven R. Whalen and was given a bond.   The government requested a stay of the defendant’s release and has appealed this decision to District Court Judge Stephen J. Murphy, seeking to have the defendant detained during the pendency of this case.   A detention hearing is currently scheduled for Monday, October 7, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Murphy, in U.S. District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Courtroom 228, Detroit, MI 48226.  Thomas will remain detained until Judge Murphy holds the detention hearing on Monday. 

While charges have been filed against this defendant, this matter continues to be investigated.   Victims identified during the initial investigation have been contacted by the FBI and/or Victim Services for the United States Attorney’s Office.   The FBI is in the process of reviewing Thomas’ electronic devices.  Should further victims be identified, personal notification will be made by FBI Special Agents assigned to this case.

Parents of children who attended Lenawee Christian School  who would like additional information, should call Nicole McGee at 313-426-3879 or contact the FBI by email at nmcgee@fbi.gov or the U.S. Attorney’s Office at usamie.victimservices@usdoj.gov.   Parents, please identify your name and contact information in your request.  A response to your inquiry, via telephone call and/or e-mail will be returned to you as quickly as possible. 

Please check this webpage for additional updates on future court dates in this case.

Updated April 1, 2022

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