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United States v. Watkins

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Covington

December 4, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PLAINTIFF
v.
CHARLES L. WATKINS, JR. DEFENDANT v.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          CANDACE J. SMITH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         On August 22, 2017, this matter came before the Court for a Final Revocation Hearing on the United States Probation Office's Reports that Defendant Charles Watkins, Jr. had violated conditions of his supervised release. Defendant was present in Court and represented by court-appointed counsel J. Stephen Smith, and the Government was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Bracke. Senior U.S. Probation Officer Stacey Suter was also present for this proceeding.

         Upon call of this matter at the Final Revocation Hearing on Supervised Release Violations, counsel informed the Court that they had reached an agreement on the pending violations. Specifically, Defendant agreed to admit to the violations alleged in the August 14, 2017 Violation Report (R. 36) and August 18, 2017 Supplemental Violation Report (R. 37), and waive his right to allocute before District Judge Bunning and his right to appeal any sentence imposed by Judge Bunning to the extent it is consistent with this Report and Recommendation. In exchange, the Government agreed to recommend a term of incarceration of 9 months with a new term of supervision of 27 months to follow.

         Upon consideration, the parties' agreement is an appropriate proposed disposition of this matter. Therefore, it will be recommended that Defendant's supervised release be revoked and that he be sentenced to a 9-month term of imprisonment with 27 months of supervised release to follow.

         I. Procedural Background

         On August 24, 2012, Defendant appeared in U.S. District Court in Covington, Kentucky, before the Honorable David L. Bunning, U.S. District Judge, and pled guilty to bank robbery. (R. 15). On December 7, 2012, Judgment was entered (R. 28), Judge Bunning having sentenced Mr. Watkins to a total term of imprisonment of 66 months with a 3-year term of supervised release to follow.

         On April 20, 2017, Defendant was released from prison to begin his 3-year term of supervision by U.S. Probation. (See R. 31). Defendant's conditions of supervision were subsequently modified on May 4, 2017, to include 6 weekends of intermittent confinement, which sanction was ordered after Mr. Watkins admitted to using marijuana on April 20, 2017, the day of his release from incarceration. (See R. 31).[1]

         On August 11, 2017, Officer Suter petitioned for Defendant to appear before the Court regarding alleged violations of his supervision. (R. 32). Defendant subsequently initially appeared on August 18, 2017. (R. 35). The charged violations were presented to the Court via the Probation Officer's August 14, 2017, Violation Report and August 18, 2017, Supplemental Violation Report. (R. 36; R. 37). The violation charges were reviewed with Mr. Watkins, the potential penalties were explained, and a final revocation hearing was scheduled. (R. 35). As noted above, upon call of the case for the final revocation hearing, counsel informed the Court that the parties had reached an agreement: Mr. Watkins was prepared to admit to the violations, and the parties agreed on a recommended sentence of 9 months of incarceration with a new term of 27 months of supervised release to follow.

         At the final hearing, the undersigned reviewed with Defendant the statutory maximum terms of incarceration and supervised release as well as the applicable Sentencing Guidelines range. The undersigned further explained that while a recommendation of an appropriate sanction will be made to the presiding District Judge, it is ultimately Judge Bunning's decision as to the final sentence to be imposed. Defendant acknowledged his understanding and stated it was his desire to admit to the alleged violations set forth in the August 14 and 18, 2017 Violation Reports. Specifically, Mr. Watkins admitted under oath to the following violations of supervised release and the factual circumstances set forth below:

Violation No. 1:The Defendant shall follow the instructions of the Probation Officer. (Grade C violation)

         Defendant was instructed by Probation Officer Suter to report to the Probation Office by 4:30 p.m. on August 8, 2017, for a urine screen and failed to do so. She then instructed him to report by 9:00 a.m. on August 9 for a urine screen and he failed to report as instructed. Finally, she instructed him to report to the Probation Office by 9:00 a.m. on August 11, 2017, for a urine screen and again he failed to report as instructed.

Violation No. 2:The Defendant shall not purchase, possess, use, distribute, or administer any controlled substance or any paraphernalia related to any controlled substances, except as prescribed by a physician. (Grade C violation)

         Defendant reported to the Probation Office on August 17, 2017, for purposes of self-surrendering on the warrant issued for charged Violation No. 1. At that time he admitted to Supervising U.S. Probation Officer Anthony Josselyn, verbally and in writing, that he had used methamphetamine on August 16, 2017; Suboxone and Klonopin on August 17, 2017; and marijuana within the previous week.

Violation No. 3:The Defendant shall not commit another federal, state, or local crime. (Grade B ...

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