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After Ernest Murphy Got 260 Months Newton Got 6 Years now Remanded amid Nassau VOSR

By Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 29 -- A jury returned guilty verdicts on drugs and gun charges on August 20, 2019 against Ernest Murphy, one of 15 defendants in a Brooklyn-based narcotics conspiracy case brought by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Now a co-defendants sentencing is asked to be delayed two months due to Coronavirus and the Bureau of Prisons' response, see below.

   It came after some electronic and laboratory evidence was suppressed by Circuit Judge Richard J. Sullivan, who rather than re-assigning has kept many of his criminal cases in the SDNY.

 On September 8, 2020 Judge Sullivan was to sentence co-defendant Devontae Newton, using the CourtCall platform due to COVID. Inner City Press called in. But first there was a lot of echoing on the line. It was recommended that Judge Sullivan mute himself, and raise his hand to be given the floor. He gamely endeavored, but finally the screen froze up and he said the sentencing would be postponed, probably to next week. He apologized to Newton. Strangely, Judge Swain's simultaneous (re-) sentencing on CourtCall worked fine. Inner City Press later learned there is a difference in capabilities in the computers of District Judges and Circuit Judges.

 On September 25, 2020 the Newton sentencing resumed and was consummated. Newton spoke movingly, and Judge Sullivan agreed that he had been young at the time of the crime. Judge Sullivan recounted a termination of supervised release proceeding earlier in the week, how well that defendant had been doing. Inner City Press covered that as well, but has yet to report on it because at the end, Judge Sullivan said the transcript would be sealed because of discussion of cooperation and where the cooperator now works.

  In this case, Judge Sullivan said he hoped Newton would in the future similarly return for a termination of (five years) of supervised release. Judge Sullivan said in Fort Dix, he can take college classes even in Princeton, "which I couldn't get into," he said.

  He sentenced Newton to 72 months - above the 60 month mandatory minimum, but below the 87 month guideline. Judge Sullivan pointed out he could have faced 15 years if the US Attorney's Office had not dropped the gun charge. He wished Newton well.

Jump cut to November 29, 2023. Newton got out in September, and now there was an alleged violation of supervised release, apparently being in a car with Chanel perfume stolen from a Macy's in Nassau County. In the back of the courtroom were two officers - and two US Marshals. After the recommendation of Probation to remand, Judge Sullivan did.
  Newton put up his hand to speak. After being cautioned about self-incrimination, he said he wanted to take his daughter to and from school. Judge Sullivan said that he had already ruled, and then (after more interchanges), that it was not a conversation. Newton was taken away.

 The overall case is US v. Burgess et al., 18-cr-373 (Sullivan)


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