United States v. Dixon

Full title: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. JERMAINE DIXON, Defendant.

Court: UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

Date published: Jul 18, 2012

Facts

In October 2001, the defendant pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess and distribute over 50 grams of crack cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 846. During the defendant’s May 2005 sentencing, this Court determined that the defendant murdered Alphonso Gooden in furtherance of the charged conspiracy. The evidence presented at an earlier Fatico hearing had “overwhelmingly established [d]” that the defendant’s weapon “irrefutably fired the fatal shot” and that the defendant “shot with the intent to kill.” 5/9/05: Sentencing Tr. at 4. Finding that there was “simply no doubt” that the murder “was related” to the drug conspiracy,” id. at 4-5, the murder qualified as relevant conduct, and the Court determined the defendant’s offense level was not according to the crack cocaine Sentencing Guidelines with a corresponding base offense level of 32 for the 50 grams of crack attributed to the defendant, but instead, according to the guideline for first-degree murder. See USSG § 2D1.1(d)(1) (“If a victim was killed under circumstances that would constitute murder… apply §2A1.1 (First Degree Murder) . . . if the resulting offense level is greater than that determined under this guideline.”). Accordingly, the defendant’s base offense level became 43, see USSG § 2A1.1, which the Court further increased by two levels for obstruction of justice, see id. § 3C1.1. The defendant’s adjusted offense level of 45 resulted in an applicable Guidelines term of life imprisonment. In the interests of justice, the Court felt “obliged to impose” a life sentence. See 5/9/05 Sentencing Tr. at 28–30. Defendant appealed.

Issue

Decision

For the reasons given above, the defendant’s motion for a reduction in sentence according to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) is denied. SO ORDERED. Dated: Brooklyn, New York.

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