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United States v. Russette

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

December 4, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
LEON RUSSELL RUSSETTE, Defendant.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO REVOKE DEFENDANT'S SUPERVISED RELEASE

DANA L. CHRISTENSEN, District Judge.

I. Synopsis

Mr. Russette was charged with violating his supervised release conditions by failing to comply with substance abuse testing, substance abuse treatment, and mental health treatment requirements. He admitted the violations. Mr. Russette's supervised release should be revoked. He should be incarcerated for 10 months, with 18 months supervised release to follow.

II. Status

Mr. Russette plead guilty in 2008 to Assault with a Dangerous Weapon. Doc. 21. He was sentenced to 76 months in prison, which was later reduced to 63 months, and three years supervised release. Doc. 26, 43. Mr. Russette was released in November 2012, but violated the conditions of his release almost immediately. Doc. 45. Mr. Russette was ordered to spend an additional eight months in custody as a sanction for the violations, with 28 months supervised release to follow. Doc. 54. He began his current term of supervised release on August 23, 2013. The United States Probation Officer immediately submitted a "Report on Offender Under Supervision" alleging that Mr. Russette tested positive for methamphetamine and alcohol at his initial supervised release meeting. The report recommended that Mr. Russette remain on supervised release, and he did. Doc. 56.

Petition

The United States Probation Office filed a petition on November 8, 2013, requesting revocation of Mr. Russette's supervised release. The petition alleged that Mr. Russette had violated three conditions of his supervised release. It alleged he: 1) violated Special Condition 1 by failing to report for substance abuse testing on September 30, October 24, and October 27, 2013; 2) violated Special Condition 2 by failing to attend substance abuse treatment sessions in September and October of 2013; and 3) violated Special Condition 3 by failing to attend mental health treatment sessions in September and October 2013. Doc. 57. Based on the petition, the undersigned issued a warrant for Mr. Russette's arrest. Doc. 58.

Initial appearance

Mr. Russette was arrested on November 28, 2013. Doc. 59. He appeared before the undersigned on December 3. Mr. Russette was accompanied by Federal Defender R. Henry Branom, who was appointed as counsel. The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Ryan Weldon. Mr. Russette said he had read the petition and understood the allegations. Mr. Weldon warned Mr. Russette could be incarcerated for up to 24 months if his supervised release is revoked. Mr. Russette waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Doc. 60.

The undersigned informed Mr. Russette that a revocation hearing would be held, and based on that hearing a recommendation would be made to United States District Judge Dana Christensen, who will decide whether to revoke his supervised release and, if appropriate, impose a sanction. Mr. Branom said he and Mr. Russette were prepared to proceed immediately to the revocation hearing. Mr. Weldon was also prepared to proceed, so the revocation hearing commenced. Doc. 60.

Revocation hearing

Mr. Russette was present at the revocation hearing with Mr. Branom. Mr. Weldon represented the United States. Mr. Russette admitted to violating his conditions of supervised release, as alleged in the petition.

The undersigned believes Mr. Russette's admissions establish violations. Mr. Russette appeared to make the admissions knowingly and after consultation with his attorney. The violations merit revocation of Mr. Russette's supervised release because they were deliberate violations of several conditions, after a warning for non-compliance.

Mr. Russette's violation grade is C, his criminal history category is III, and the underlying violation is a Class C felony. He could be incarcerated for up to 24 months. The United States Sentencing Guidelines call for 5 to 11 months imprisonment. U.S. Guidelines Manual, Ch. 7. Mr. Russette could be ordered to remain on supervised release for up to 28 months, less any ...


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