Tuesday, June 11, 2013
IND. DECISIONS - 7TH CIRCUIT DECIDES ONE INDIANA CASE TODAY
In UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. JAVIER MUNOZ (SD Ind., McKinney), a 10-page opinion, Judge Hamilton writes:
Pursuant to a plea agreement, defendant Javier Munoz pled guilty in 2007 to distributing and possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, but he fled to Mexico before his sentencing. It took the government five years to track him down and extradite him. When he finally faced sentencing in 2012, the district court imposed a sentence of 181 months in prison, which was below the advisory sentencing guide line range. Munoz has appealed, arguing that at the time of sentencing, the government breached the plea agreement by (1) advocating a base offense level higher than the parties had agreed in the plea agreement, and (2) recommending a sentence in the middle of the guideline range rather than at the bottom. As we view the case, however, it was Munoz, not the government, who materially breached the conditions of his release and an implied term of the plea agreement by fleeing the country rather than showing up for sentencing. Munoz’s breach permitted the government to treat the plea agreement as having been rescinded. We affirm.
this would seem to violate due process and the escape rule. robinson v state of missouri 1993. but i haven't read the case.