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For Kidnapping and Murder 84 Month Sentence in SDNY For Cooperator With Sealed Transcript

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 29 – A man was killed on March 11, 2014 and on July 29, 2020 one of the killers was sentenced to 32 additional months in prison then to be freed.

The transcript was sealed. But Inner City Press was there.

  It was a proceeding before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Vernon S. Broderick, on the CourtCall platform.

It was not listed in the day's Calendar on PACER, and from the beginning there was talk off taking the whole proceeding offline, excluding the press.   

Ultimately the Assistant US Attorney acknowledged that she did not have authority to make a request to seal the courtroom, without a green light from Main Justice which she did not have. She did, however, request that the transcript be sealed.   

The defendant, described as Buchanan - no docket number was given - spoke for himself, and to his credit apologize. He read from a letter than his lawyer said was written, lightly, in pencil.

The court reporter asked the lawyer, in the GEO private prison in Queens, to take a photo of it. But it would be for a sealed transcript.  

The guidelines called for 444 months to life.

 But Probation proposed 120 months, and Judge Broderick citing the defendant's cooperation imposed 84 months - 54 months of which have already been served, in the cooperators' prison in Queens from which Tekashi 69 was released. 

  The defendant had thought he was born in Jamaica but was born in the US. He grew up with his aunt.

He had engaged in ten robberies before that fateful day, when he chased the victim with a gun, into a car, then helped dispose of his body.

The US Attorney's Office gave a Section 5(k)(1) letter and asked to seal the transcript.  

Judge Broderick to his credit asked the parties to try to later unseal as much of the transcript as they can. He asked if any victim or relative of the deceased wished to speak. But the call-in line for CourtCall is automatically muted.

No docket number was given.

Inner City Press intends to have more on this. 


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