United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division
A. INGRAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
referral from District Judge Van Tatenhove, the Court
considers a reported violation of a supervised release
condition by Defendant Elizabeth Scisco. D.E. 34. District
Judge Leon Jordan of the Eastern District of Tennessee
entered a judgment against Defendant in January 2010 upon a
plea of guilty for conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and
possess with intent to distribute methcathinone, in violation
of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(a)(1), and conspiracy
to possess and distribute pseudoephedrine, knowing it would
be used to manufacture methcathinone, in violation of 21
U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(c)(2). See D.E. 1-2
at 1. Defendant received a sentence of seventy months of
imprisonment followed by a thirty-six month term of
supervised release. Id. at 2-3. Defendant began her
supervised release term on August 8, 2014, and her
supervision was transferred to the Eastern District of
Kentucky in October 2014. See D.E. 1 at 1.
not Defendant's first violation of the terms of her
supervision. In December 2014, Defendant's supervision
was revoked after she admitted to the use of buprenorphine,
oxycodone, and morphine, and associated criminal conduct.
D.E. 15. Upon the recommendation of the undersigned, Judge
Van Tatenhove revoked Defendant's supervised release and
sentenced her to fifteen months of imprisonment to be
followed by thirty-six months of supervised release. D.E. 13
at 8; D.E. 15 at 2-3. A Request for Modifying the Conditions
or Term of Supervision with Consent of the Offender (12B) was
approved by the Court in April 2017. D.E. 16. That request
was based upon Defendant's arrest in state court on a
charge of fourth-degree assault following an altercation with
her mother. See Id. at 1-2. In granting the 12B, the
Court added a condition requiring Defendant to participate in
mental-health treatment at the direction and discretion of
the probation office. See Id. at 2-3.
October 2017, Defendant's term of supervision was again
revoked following her admission to the commission of a crime
and failure to report an arrest. See D.E. 30 at 1.
At that time, Defendant was sentenced to sixteen months of
imprisonment to be followed by twenty-four months of
supervised release. Id. at 2-3. That revocation
judgment also included a special condition of Defendant's
supervision that she was to be placed in a residential
re-entry center for a period of six months upon her release
from incarceration. See Id. at 5.
September 24, 2018, Defendant was released from the custody
of the Bureau of Prisons to begin service of her term of
supervision, and that date also marked the beginning of her
placement into the residential re-entry center at Dismas
Charities Manchester. On December 17, 2018, the United States
Probation Office (“USPO”) issued a Supervised
Release Violation Report (“the Report') charging
Defendant with one violation based on her dismissal from that
center on December 7, 2018.
the Report alleges that Defendant violated the special
condition of her prior revocation judgment that stated:
“Upon release from incarceration, the defendant must be
placed in a Residential Re-Entry Center for a period of six
(6) months.” As grounds for this violation, the Report
alleges that, according to correspondence from staff at
Dismas Charities Manchester, Defendant was found to have been
texting sexually explicit photographs to another resident of
the program, which is against the rules of the
facility. The correspondence also includes a number
of other disciplinary reports filed against Defendant since
she began the program in September 2018.
December 10, 2018, Defendant reported to the USPO to discuss
her termination from the residential re-entry facility.
Defendant claimed the termination occurred because she had
the contact information of a former Dismas Charities resident
in her phone and because she had allowed another resident to
use her phone even though the other resident's phone
privileges had been revoked. Defendant's reported conduct
would constitute a Grade C violation. See U.S.S.G.
Court conducted an initial appearance on the alleged
violation pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.1
on January 28, 2019. D.E. 36. At that time, Defendant
appeared pursuant to a summons. See Id. The United
States did not move for detention, and Defendant was released
on her current conditions of release. See id.
February 13, the parties appeared for Defendant's
scheduled final supervised release violation hearing. D.E.
39. However, recognizing certain discrepancies in
Defendant's employment status, the Court continued the
final hearing to February 25. See Id. On that date,
Defendant's final hearing proceeded as scheduled. D.E.
40. Defendant waived a formal hearing and stipulated to the
violation set forth in the Report. Id. The Court
found the stipulation was competently, knowingly,
voluntarily, and intelligently entered. Id.
Defendant qualified the scope of her stipulation by
explaining that she had allowed another inmate to use her
phone and had told the inmate to delete the exchanged
messages, which she knew was in violation of the
facility's rules. Defendant denied sending sexually
explicit photos. Under 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e), the Court
must find “by a preponderance of the evidence that the
defendant violated a condition of supervised release.”
18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(3); see also United States v.
Cofield, 233 F.3d 405, 406 (6th Cir. 2000) (“In
order to revoke supervised release, the sentencing court must
find by a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant has
violated a condition of his supervised release.”).
Defendant's stipulation, even as qualified, permits the
Court to find that she engaged in conduct that is a Grade C
violation under the Guidelines because her actions violated
the rules of Dismas Charities Manchester, which resulted in
her termination from that facility. See U.S.S.G.
final hearing, the government argued that, rather than a
lengthy term of imprisonment, the Court should require her to
serve eight weekends of intermittent confinement and that she
should complete her current term of supervision. The defense
joined in the government's request. Defendant addressed
the Court, and she thanked the prosecutor for his belief that
she can succeed. Defendant also informed the Court that she