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United States v. Murdock

United States District Court, District of Columbia

July 27, 2017



          RICHARD J. LEON United States District Judge.

         Currently pending before the Court is defendant Monique Murdock's Motion for Early Termination of Supervised Release [Dkt. # 34]. Upon consideration of the Motion, the parties' briefs, the relevant law, and the entire record herein, I find that early termination of Ms. Murdock's supervision would not be in the interests of justice, and as a result, her motion is DENIED.


         In January 2013, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia filed a one-count Information charging Ms. Murdock with one count of theft from a program receiving federal funds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(A). See Information [Dkt. # 1]. On November 13, 2013, Ms. Murdock pleaded guilty to the count, pursuant to a plea agreement which stated that her conduct was "fairly and accurately describe[d]" in the "Statement of Offense" attached to the agreement. 11/13/2013 Minute Entry; Plea Agreement, ¶ 1 [Dkt. # 12]. The Statement of Offense describes Ms. Murdock's criminal conduct. Statement of Offense [Dkt. # 11]. From June 2006 through October 2008, Ms. Murdock was the Executive Director of Nia Community Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., a public charter school that receives federal funds from the Department of Education. Id. ¶¶ 1-2, 8. As Nia's Executive Director, Ms. Murdock was responsible for the school's fiscal management, and was a signatory to all of the school's bank accounts. Id. ¶ 1. Between March and August 2008, Ms. Murdock signed five checks transferring a total of $29, 000 from Nia to a Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) account for her minor foster child, an account for which Ms. Murdock was the custodian. Id. ¶¶ 9-10. Ms. Murdock subsequently converted the $29, 000 to her personal benefit. Id. ¶ 12.

         Beginning in April 2010, Ms. Murdock served as a Child Youth and School Services (CYS) Facility Director at Cody Development Center in Fort Meyer, Virginia. Id. ¶ 13. In that role, Ms. Murdock possessed a Government Purchase Card (GPC) and was responsible for purchasing food and supplies for the Development Center. Id. Between February and December 2012, Ms. Murdock purchased $11, 773 worth of unauthorized gift cards with the GPC. Id. ¶ 14.

         For her conduct, Ms. Murdock faced a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment, a period of supervised release of up to three years, a fine of $100, 000, a $100 special assessment, and a forfeiture money judgment of $29, 000. Plea Agreement, ¶ 2. At sentencing, the Government recommended that the Court impose a sentence in the mid-range of 6 to 12 months, a three-year term of supervised release, a $40, 773 order of restitution, and a $29, 000 forfeiture money judgment. Gov't's Sentencing Memo, at 6 [Dkt. # 18]. For her part, defendant asked the Court to impose a sentence of supervised probation without imprisonment. Def.'s Sentencing Mem. at 10 [Dkt. #21].

         On April 14, 2014, the Court sentenced Ms. Murdock to nine months imprisonment, thirty-six months of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $40, 773, and a $100 special assessment.[1] 04/24/2014 Minute Entry; Judgment [Dkt. # 25]. Ms. Murdock served the imprisonment portion of her sentence and began her supervised release term on April 17, 2015. Def.'s Mot. at 2. In January 2017, twenty months after her release from prison, Ms. Murdock moved to terminate her supervision early. Id. In support of her motion, Ms. Murdock states that she has "fully complied with all aspects of her supervision, including community service and restitution obligations." Id. She asks the Court to terminate her supervision so that she can more easily visit elderly relatives in North Carolina and New York for whom she serves as a legal guardian, and so that she can establish a non-profit organization for veterans and prisoners re-entering in the workforce. Id. at 4. The government stated that it did not oppose the motion, provided that Ms. Murdock brought her monthly restitution payments into compliance, submitted a new financial statement to the government, and entered into a new payment plan; Ms. Murdock represents that she has completed all of those steps. See Gov't's Resp. to Court's 03/13/2017 Order at 2 [Dkt. # 37]; Consent Suppl. to Mot. at 1-2 [Dkt. #39].


         Changes to a defendant's supervised release term after he or she has been sentenced are governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e). Under that section, the Court may terminate a supervised release term "at any time after the expiration of one year of supervised release" if the Court is satisfied that (1) early termination is "warranted by the conduct of the defendant released" and (2) early termination is in "the interest of justice." See 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1). As part of that consideration, the Court must consider:

• the "nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant";
• the "need for the sentence imposed ... to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct[, ] to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant[, ] and to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment";
• the "kinds of sentence and the sentencing [Guidelines] range" for the offense;
• any pertinent policy statement from the United States Sentencing Commission;
• "the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities"; ...

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