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United States v. Carter

United States District Court, District of Columbia

December 20, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
DAVID N. CARTER, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION ON SENTENCING

          ROSEMARY M. COLLYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On November 1, 2018, David N. Carter came before this Court for sentencing on a charge of Escape from Custody, 18 U.S.C. § 751(a), for walking away from Hope Village, a Residential Reentry Center or halfway house located in the District of Columbia, to which Mr. Carter had entered a plea of guilty. This Court imposed a sentence of eleven (11) months' incarceration with no supervision thereafter and writes this memorandum opinion to explain its reasoning.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Mr. Carter's presence in Hope Village was part of a prior sentence entered by the District of Columbia Superior Court. Mr. Carter had been sentenced in the Superior Court on November 22, 2011 to 20 months' custody and three years of supervised release on two drug charges. His supervised released was revoked due to violation on June 15, 2016 and he was sentenced to an additional 30 months in custody. On February 21, 2018, Mr. Carter was furloughed to Hope Village by the Bureau of Prisons to complete the remainder of his sentence, with a projected release date of August 17, 2018.

         Mr. Carter left Hope Village on April 16, 2018 without authorization and never returned. He was indicted in this case on June 14, 2018[1] and arrested on June 29, 2018. Mr. Carter pled guilty to Escape from Custody, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 751(a), without a plea agreement. The maximum penalty for his crime is a term of imprisonment not greater than five years, a fine not to exceed $250, 000, a term of supervised release of not more than three years, and a special assessment of $100. As calculated by the Probation Office and accepted by the Court, his adjusted Offense Level was 7 and his total criminal history score was 21, which established a criminal history category of VI. Therefore, the recommended sentence under the United States Sentencing Guidelines was 15 to 21 months in custody.

         The Court received and reviewed sentencing memoranda from both Mr. Carter and the government, heard argument at the sentencing hearing, and heard from Mr. Carter himself. See Gov't Sentencing Mem. [Dkt. 10]; Mr. Carter Sentencing Mem. [Dkt. 11]. The government recommended a sentence of 20 months' incarceration and 36 months' supervised release, coupled with 100 hours of community service. Mr. Carter sought a sentence of time served and 24 months' supervised release. There is no mandatory minimum.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         At sentencing, a United States District Judge must first ascertain and consider the appropriate sentencing range recommended by the Sentencing Guidelines. However, the Guidelines are no longer mandatory and provide recommendations based on national experience only. United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005). To devise a sentence that is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary, ” courts must also fully consider the sentencing factors identified in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). Those relevant here include:

(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant;
(2) the need for the sentence imposed-
(A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense;
(B) to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct;
(C) to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and
(D) to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional ...

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