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United States v. Sledge

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

September 20, 2013

UNTIED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff/Respondent,
v.
DAVID DWAIN SLEDGE, Defendant/Movant.

ORDER

DANA L. CHRISTENSEN, Chief District Judge.

On June 19, 2012, Defendant/Movant David Sledge ("Sledge"), acting without counsel, filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Sledge also filed a motion for credit for time served. While Sledge is a federal prisoner proceeding pro se, he is currently serving time at Montana State Prison on a state conviction. Following appointment of counsel on October 18, 2012, Sledge is now represented by attorney Jeffrey M. Roth.

I. Background

In August 2008, Sledge's stepdaughter invited a friend on a camping trip in Glacier National Park. Sledge provided both girls with a bottle of Everclear, then photographed them in sexually explicit poses.

In June 2009, another girl reported to police that Sledge exposed his penis to her several times when she was staying overnight with Sledge's stepdaughter. State authorities began an investigation. When they discovered that Sledge had engaged in sexual crimes involving his stepdaughter and several other girls, Sledge was charged in a Montana state court. He was arrested on or about April 7, 2010, and was convicted of one count of sexual assault and four counts of indecent exposure. On December 2, 10, [1] Sledge was sentenced to a total prison term of forty years, with 32 years suspended. Presentence Report ¶ 31. The state judgment restricted Sledge's eligibility for parole until he completed two phases of sex offender treatment in prison. See Letter Feb. 2, 2012 (doc. 59-2), at 1. The state sentence was calculated as commencing on April 7, 2010. See State Sentence Calculation (doc. 60-1 Ex. A) at 1.

In the course of the state investigation, the photographs Sledge had taken in August 2008 were found. On May 4, 2011, Sledge was indicted in this Court on two counts of sexual exploitation of children. A warrant was issued. Sledge was arrested at Montana State Prison on the federal warrant on June 17, 2011. Return (doc. 15) at 1. Pursuant to a plea agreement, on August 30, 2011, Sledge pled guilty to Count 2, and the United States agreed to dismiss Count 1.

On December 21, 2011, Sledge appeared for sentencing. He faced a fifteen-year statutory mandatory minimum. 18 U.S.C. § 2251(e). Sledge's attorney, Federal Defender Michael Donahoe, advocated for a sentence concurrent with the state sentence. He also asked that Sledge's federal sentence be adjusted to reflect time spent in state custody prior to being taken into federal custody:

Under USSG § 5G1.3(b) the Court should adjust the defendant's sentence downward 14 months to account for the total incarceration time defendant has already served state-side....
Defendant was in pre-trial or pre-sentencing Flathead County custody in his State case for approximately 8 months. Thus, defendant should be awarded 14 months credit for State time already served: December, 2010 to June, 2011 at Montana State Prison plus 8 months pre-trial county time equals 14 months.

Def. Sentencing Mem. (doc. 32) at 3 & n. 1.

Sledge's request for a concurrent sentence was rejected, but his argument under U.S.S.G. § 5G1.3 for credit for time served was accepted:

[I]t's my judgment that, while I believe the Government's recommendation is appropriate, that a 210-month sentence is appropriate in this case, I am going to exercise my discretion under 5G1.3 and account for the credit that he would get.
I'm not going to run the sentences concurrently. I am going to reduce the 210 months to 196 months, which will run consecutively with the State sentence.

Sentencing Tr. (doc. 47) at 30:19-31:2. In addition to 196 months in federal prison, consecutive to the state sentence, Sledge will serve a life term of supervised ...


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