Prosecutors are not backing down from pursuing an assault case against a New York solo practitioner who is accused of resisting two deputy U.S. marshals during an alleged skirmish in federal district court in Washington.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia this month secured a two-count superseding indictment against the lawyer, Ning Ye, who once represented a man in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia who was accused in a high-profile international methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy. (The government’s case against the man, Zhenli Ye Gon, collapsed recently under the weight of evidentiary concerns, among other reasons.)
The reason for a superseding indictment? To fix a typographical error. In the original indictment, filed in October 2008, the government mistakenly used the word “or” in stringing together a list of alleged acts. Ning Ye’s counsel, Gregory Smith, a solo practitioner in D.C., pointed out the error to prosecutors.
The corrected indictment uses the word “and.” Here’s the language in the new indictment: Ye did “unlawfully and knowingly forcibly assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, and interfere” with two deputy U.S. marshals.
The alleged skirmish between Ye and the U.S. marshals happened in the foyer outside the courtroom of Judge Emmet Sullivan. No video cameras captured the alleged fight.
Ye’s lawyer has argued in court papers that the fact that the prosecution is amending the indictment now provides further justification for dismissing the case on the ground that the government has violated Ye’s right to a speedy trial.