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United States v. Morsette

United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division

October 8, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
BILLI ANNE RAINING BIRD MORSETTE, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          John Johnston United States Magistrate Judge

         I. Synopsis

         Defendant Billi Anne Raining Bird Morsette (Morsette) has been accused of violating the conditions of her supervised release. Morsette admitted all of the alleged violations, except two. Morsette did not admit alleged violations 5 and 6. The government did not attempt to prove alleged violations 5 and 6. Morsette's supervised release should be revoked. Morsette should be placed in custody for 5 months, with 31 months of supervised release to follow. Morsette should serve the first 6 months of supervised release at a residential re-entry center.

         II. Status

         Morsette pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Embezzle Tribal Funds on December 1, 2015. (Doc. 37). The Court sentenced Morsette to 41 months of custody, followed by 3 years of supervised release. (Doc. 58). The Court reduced Morsette's sentence to time served on September 21, 2017, in response to the government's Rule 35 motion. (Doc. 76). Morsette's current term of supervised release began on September 21, 2017. (Doc. 98 at 1).

         Petition

         The United States Probation Office filed an Amended Petition on June 10, 2019, requesting that the Court revoke Morsette's supervised release. (Doc. 98). The Amended Petition alleged that Morsette violated the conditions of her supervised release: 1) by using methamphetamine; 2) by failing to report for substance abuse testing; 3) by failing to report for substance abuse treatment; 4) by failing to pay restitution as directed by the United States Probation Office; and 5) by failing to comply with her curfew.

         Initial appearance

         Morsette appeared before the undersigned for her initial appearance on the Amended Petition on October 7, 2019. Morsette was represented by counsel. Morsette stated that she had read the petition and that she understood the allegations. Morsette waived her right to a preliminary hearing. The parties consented to proceed with the revocation hearing before the undersigned.

         Revocation hearing

         The Court conducted a revocation hearing on October 7, 2019. Morsette admitted that she had violated the conditions of his supervised release: 1) by using methamphetamine; 2) by failing to report for substance abuse testing; 3) by failing to report for substance abuse treatment; 4) by failing to pay restitution as directed by the United States Probation Office; and 5) by failing to comply with her curfew. Morsette did not admit alleged violations 5 and 6. The government did not attempt to prove alleged violations 5 and 6. The violations that Morsette admitted are serious and warrant revocation of Morsette's supervised release.

         Morsette's violations are Grade C violations. Morsette's criminal history category is I. Morsette's underlying offense is a Class A misdemeanor. Morsette could be incarcerated for up to 24 months. She could be ordered to remain on supervised release for up to 36 months, less any custody time imposed. The United States Sentencing Guidelines call for a term of custody of 3 to 9 months.

         III. Analysis

         Morsette's supervised release should be revoked. Morsette should be placed in custody for 5 months, with 31 months of supervised release to follow. Morsette should serve the first 6 months of supervised release at a residential reentry center. The supervised release conditions imposed previously should be continued. This sentence is sufficient but not greater than ...


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