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United States v. Daoust

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

May 1, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
ROBERT DAOUST, Defendant, Appellant.

          APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MAINE [Hon. Jon D. Levy, U.S. District Judge]

          Inga L. Parsons and Law Offices of Inga L. Parsons on brief for appellant.

          Halsey B. Frank, United States Attorney, and Benjamin M. Block, Assistant United States Attorney, on brief for appellee.

          Before Howard, Chief Judge, Selya and Barron, Circuit Judges.

          SELYA, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Defendant-appellant Robert Daoust mounts a multi-pronged challenge to the sentence imposed following the revocation of his supervised release term. Concluding, as we do, that his claims of sentencing error are futile, we affirm the sentence.

         I. BACKGROUND

         We briefly rehearse the facts and travel of the case. In 2010, the appellant pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to distribute. See 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The district court sentenced him to a seven-year term of immurement, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. The appellant's prison sentence was later reduced to seventy months, see 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), and he served that sentence. His supervised release commenced on September 29, 2016.

         The appellant moved into a motel room, obtained fulltime employment, and began participating in various treatment modalities. Soon thereafter, the appellant relocated to a different motel room, sharing his new accommodations with a female companion (herself a convicted felon). This new relationship did not last long: approximately two months after regaining his freedom, the appellant became intoxicated at a party, returned to his motel, and wound up in an altercation with his companion. The appellant punched the woman in the head, covered her face with a pillow, and repeatedly threatened that he was going to kill her. When another motel resident tried to intervene, the appellant struck him and pushed him to the ground.

         The police were notified and charged the appellant with misdemeanor domestic violence assault. See Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A, § 207-A. Not surprisingly, the United States Probation Office moved expeditiously to revoke the appellant's supervised release. The probation officer's filing identified four putative violations of the appellant's supervised release conditions, namely, that he had possessed or consumed alcohol or other intoxicants, that he had associated with a convicted felon, that he had committed a state crime, and that he had failed to give timely notice to the probation office prior to changing residences.

         At a revocation hearing held on March 3, 2017, the government dismissed the charge of untimely notification. In return, the appellant admitted to the remaining three violations. The appellant did not object to anything in the revised revocation report, and the district court adopted the report in its entirety. The court proceeded to note that the admitted violations constituted Grade C violations, see USSG §7B1.1(a)(3); that the advisory guideline sentencing range was eight to fourteen months, see id. §7B1.4(a); and that the maximum penalty provided by statute was two years' imprisonment, see 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(3).

         The probation officer recommended a sentence of one year and one day. The government suggested that the court either adopt the probation officer's recommendation or impose a top-of-the-range sentence (fourteen months). For his part, the appellant argued for a sentence in the three-to-six-month range. After mulling the relevant guideline provisions and sentencing factors, the district court imposed a two-year incarcerative term, to be followed by an additional thirty-four months of supervised release. This timely appeal ensued.

         II. ...


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