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Watson Pleaded Guilty With Right To Appeal on Suppression of Gun Now Gets 24 Months

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 21 – Owen Watson was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and on March 18 entered a conditional guilty plea which allows him to appeal rulings of January 26 and February 11 denying suppression of, inter alia, the firearm found on his person. 

 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff issued those rulings, and genially held the March 18 conditional change of plea proceeding.  

  Watson agreed that a 57 to 71 month guideline - not Judge Rakoff's favorite system - applies. But he will appeal.

The February 11 order says "Watson suggests that he was seized from the moment the 'officers screeched to a stop in front of [him.]' The Court disagrees... the Court heold that Watson was seized when the officers directed him to 'stop.'"

It is a good faith disagreement, and an interesting one. So Inner City Press has continued to cover the case.

On June 21, Watson came up for sentencing before Judge Rakoff. His defense lawyer said he bought the gun in March 2020, amid COVID, and felt threatened.

Judge Rakoff asked why he'd fired it at a car or in the air, then noted Watson's efforts to turn his life around. He sentenced him to 24 months and eschewed "moral" counseling, saying it smacked of psycho-babble. The appeal will proceed.

The case is USA v. Watson, 20-cr-346 (Rakoff)


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