United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. Reeves United States District Judge
Marion Leaves Brown, III, faced a lengthy sentence after
entering a guilty plea on July 28, 2017. Brown had sold a
combination of heroin and fentanyl to a woman approximately
four months earlier, which resulted in her overdosing on the
substances. Brown's then-girlfriend, Defendant Taylor
Dawne Mitchuson, assisted Brown in a subsequent sale to an
individual cooperating with police in the investigation of
Brown's drug distribution activities. However, she was
not charged in his subsequent indictment.
days later, Brown hatched a scheme to escape from the Grayson
County Detention Center before his federal sentencing hearing
which had been set for November 17, 2017. Brown enlisted
Taylor and two others, Defendants Robert Lewis Simpson and
Destini Samantha Chadwell, to assist in the escape. Taylor
was used to coordinate the purchase of supplies for the
break-out. Simpson and his girlfriend, Destini Chadwell, then
attempted to assist Brown in his escape from outside the
detention center. The plan failed. Brown, Mitchuson, Simpson
and Chadwell were later indicted under 18 U.S.C. § 371
(conspiracy to escape from federal custody). With the
exception of Brown, the remaining defendants entered guilty
pleas and testified as government witnesses during
Brown's trial which was held on August 15, 2018.
Simpson and Mitchuson have objected to the guideline
calculations contained in their respective PSRs based on the
Probation Officer's the failure to include recommended
reductions for their respective roles in the offense.
Mitchuson claims that she is entitled to receive either a
four- or two-level reduction as a minimal or minor
participant under Section 3B1.2 of the United States
Sentencing Commission, Guidelines Manual, §
3B1.2 (Nov. 2018). Simpson asserts that he should receive a
two-level adjustment as a minor participant.
will be granted partial relief (i.e., a two-level
reduction) based on her role in the offense. However, the
Court cannot conclude that Simpson is entitled to a role
reduction. His objection, therefore, will be denied.
USSG § 3B1.2
United States Sentencing Commission's 2018 Guidelines
Manual is applicable to Mitchuson's and
Simpson's sentencing proceeding and to their objections
to their respective guideline calculations. See USSG
§ 1B1.11, p.s. (The Court shall use the Guidelines
Manual in effect on the date that the defendant is sentenced
unless such application would violate the ex post
facto clause of the United States Constitution.) While
both defendants begin with a Base Offense Level 13 in
calculating their respective guideline ranges, the probation
officer responsible for preparation of the PSRs does not
assign to either defendant an adjustment for his or her role
in the offense.
3B1.2 (Mitigating Role) applies to downward role adjustments.
It simply states:
on the defendant's role in the offense, decrease the
offense level as follows:
(a) If the defendant was a minimal participant in any
criminal activity, decrease by 4 levels.
(b) If the defendant was a minor participant in any criminal
activity, decrease by 2 levels.
cases falling between (a) and (b), decrease by
application notes to this section of the guidelines provide
useful definitions and instructions in determining who is
entitled to a mitigating role adjustment and the extent of
any adjustment. First, the defendant seeking the adjustment
must be “substantially less culpable than the average