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Child Sex Offender Donnie Fetters Pled Guilty and Gets 48 Months on Guideline of 168 to 210

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon, Video

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 10 – A man who flew from Iowa to New York City after negotiating to have sex with a seven year old girl and a nine year old boy was on May 10, 2019 allowed to go free on bond by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang. The proceeding went until 8 pm with Inner City Press the only media in attendance.

  In June 2022 - thirty sevens months later - Fetters is still free though now with a 48 month sentence on a guideline of 168 to 210 months, he will have to turn himself in on August 10:
"Sentencing held on 6/10/2022 for Donnie Fetters (1) Count 1. The Court held a sentencing in this matter on June 10, 2022. The Court sentenced Mr. Fetters to a term of 48 months' imprisonment and a five-year term of supervised release. The Court directed Mr. Fetters to self-surrender to his designated Bureau of Prisons facility on August 10, 2022, by 2:00 P.M. Special Assessment of $100 due immediately."

Earlier, as Inner City Press reported, Fetters was getting his case adjourned without much transparency: "ORDER as to Donnie Fetters. The conference shall be scheduled for Friday June 4, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. All parties to this action consent to an exclusion of time from the Speedy Trial Act until June 4, 2021 ( Pretrial Conference set for 6/4/2021 at 11:30 AM before Judge Victor Marrero.)" 

On July 20 - twenty six months now - the US Attorney's Office has written to Judge Marrero asking for another adjournment of 30 days of the conference scheduled for July 23, "the parties are currently engaged in discussions regarding a pretrial disposition."

On July 21, Judge Marrero issued an order: "ORDER as to Donnie Fetters: Counsel for the Government, with the consent of counsel for Defendant (see Dkt. No. 41), requests that the status conference currently scheduled for July 23, 2021 be rescheduled. The conference shall be scheduled for Friday August 20, 2021 at 1:00 p.m."

On August 16, another letter, seeking another 30 days: "The parties have made great progress in their efforts to resolve this case and we anticipate a disposition before the ened of the month. If we do not reach a disposition by then, the parties will be prepared to set a trial schedule on the adjourned date."

 On August 17, more than 30 days were granted: "ORDER as to Donnie Fetters: Counsel for the Defendant, with the consent of counsel for the Government (see Dkt. No. 43), requests that the status conference currently scheduled for August 20, 2021 be rescheduled. The conference shall be scheduled for Friday October 1, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. All parties to this action consent to an exclusion of time from the Speedy Trial Act until October 1, 2021. It is hereby ordered that time until October 1, 2021 shall be excluded from speedy trial calculations. This exclusion is designed to guarantee effectiveness of counsel and prevent any possible miscarriage of justice. The value of this exclusion outweighs the best interests of the Defendant and the public to a speedy trial. This order of exclusion of time is made pursuant to 18 U.S.C. งง 3161(h)(7)(B)(i) & (iv). SO ORDERED."

On September 9, 2021, the Assistant US Attorney asked Judge Marrero to make a CARES Act finding that Fetters can plead guilty virtually, to SDNY Magistrates Court, date not stated.

And on September 13, Judge Marrero OK-ed it for the Magistrate - which Magistrate, and which date, still not set: "ORDER [45] LETTER MOTION addressed to Judge Victor Marrero from Ni Qian dated September 9, 2021 re: CARES Act Order. Counsel for the Government, with the consent of counsel for Defendant (see Dkt. No. 45), requests that the Court conduct a plea remotely (via teleconference or videoconference) under Section 15002(b) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act"), which allows for felony plea proceedings to be held remotely only when the district judge "in a particular case finds for specific reasons that the plea or sentencing in that case cannot be further delayed without serious harm to the interests of justice. Therefore, the Court authorizes the magistrate court to proceed remotely in this matter. (Signed by Judge Victor Marrero on 9/13/21)."

And on September 27, just like that, it was done - a virtual guilty plea to Count 1. Bail was continued and rather than a sentencing date, the docket refers to "control date" of January 3, 2022.

On October 25, Judge Marrero formally accepted the plea: "WHEREAS, a transcript of the allocution was made and thereafter was transmitted to the District Court; and WHEREAS, upon review of that transcript, this Court has determined that the defendant entered the guilty plea knowingly and voluntarily and that there was a factual basis for the guilty plea; IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the defendant’s guilty plea is accepted."

On December 13, Fetters lawyers asked for yet another delay, in sentencing, to March 2022.

On December 30, Fetters' lawyers wrote to Judge Marrero to " to seek a modification to the conditions of Mr. Fetters’ release. Mr. Fetters is currently subject to home detention. However, his daughter is getting married and Mr. Fetters would like to attend the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception. The rehearsal dinner will be held on January 7, 2022 and the ceremony and reception will be held on January 8, 2022. If permitted to attend the events, Mr. Fetters will return to his home each night and will not be sleeping out. He asks for leave from his home detention on January 7, 2022 between 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on January 8, 2022 starting at 10:00 a.m., returning to his home by 1:00 a.m on January 9, 2022."

On February 22, 2022, this: "ORDER as to Donnie Fetters. Counsel for the Defendant, with the consent of the Government, requests that the sentencing currently scheduled for March 25, 2022 be rescheduled. The sentencing shall be scheduled for Friday, June 10, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. SO ORDERED: ( Sentencing set for 6/10/2022 at 12:00 PM before Judge Victor Marrero. )(Signed by Judge Victor Marrero on 2/22/2022)."

    We'll have more on this and other similar cases.

  The defendant, described by Judge Wang's Deputy as "Donnie Fetters, 19-MAG-4559," sat for an hour shackled in a Carhartt shirt. His Federal Defenders lawyer Julia Gatto emphasized that he is a crane operator and farmer of hogs. After a long break Judge Wang said he can return to the farm, with his travel paid for by the taxpayers, as long as he uses a flip phone and stays away from Starbucks. It turns out, however, that the GPS monitor she ordered may not be available in the Southern District of Iowa.

  Troublingly, there appeared to be an attempt to keep parts of the proceeding non-public, to avoid coverage by the Press. With Inner City Press the only media in the SDNY Magistrates Court, Judge Wang sought to have the Pre Trial Services oral report outside of the courtroom. But the defendant had a right to be present. So it was held, in whispers, at the defendant's table. Inner City Press heard much of it but is not reporting at this time.

  Publicly it was said that the defendant told an undercover agent that he has already had sex with an eight year old girl, who contacted him recently, now thirteen years old. He lives alone, making any monitoring of him by "unannounced" PTS visits dubious at best. Then it emerged that there may not even be GPS capability in the Southern District of Iowa.

  Now on May 31 we reported: not only was Donnie Fetters freed and flown at taxpayer expense back to the Southern District of Iowa - now he is permitted to travel to the Northern District of Iowa as well. He has been indicted, and the case now assigned to SDNY District Judge Victor Marrero. We'll have more on this - for now there's more here on Patreon. And now here.

The case is US v. Fetters,19-cr-387 (Marrero).



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