IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
August 27, 2008
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
EARNEST MCNEAL DEFENDANT.
MOTION TO CONTINUE SENTENCING HEARING; ORDER
This case is currently scheduled for a sentencing on Tuesday September 9, 2008 at 8:30 a.m. The parties entered into an Rule 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement to 112 months. The presentence report is complete and both parties at sentencing will be asking for the Court to honor the terms of the plea agreement.
Mr. McNeal moves this Court to continue his sentencing hearing to October 6, 2008, at 8:30 a.m. The reason for the requested continuance is that Mr. McNeal would like to remain in the Sacramento County Jail for another month in order to facilitate a visit with his sister who is suffering from cancer and cannot travel well. Mr. McNeal's family believes that Mr. McNeal's sister will not be able to visit him in federal prison due to the distance that will have to be traveled even if he is designated to a California Facility, the closest he will be is 200 miles away. Because he is expected to be moved quickly after sentencing, the family can not make such arrangements if Mr. McNeal is sentenced on Tuesday. Counsel erroneously believed that the government would agree to a stipulation of sentencing and assured the family a continuance could be obtained so that arrangements for a visit could be made.
In addition, Mr. McNeal is emotionally supporting his fiancee and her children through a difficult time. He would appreciate one more month locally so that they can be in a more stable situation before he leaves for federal prison. At this time, he is emotionally preoccupied and not prepared to go forward with sentencing. Of course, if the Court denies his request, Mr. McNeal will comply with the Court's order and go forward with sentencing. He does, however, request a brief period of time longer to remain locally.
Mr. McNeal has spent his time in custody well. He has earned his G.E.D. while in the Sacramento County Jail awaiting his plea and sentencing, and he has availed himself of drug treatment and other classes available. I have attached a copy of his G.E.D and letters from Mr. McNeal's family describing his emotional support, even from the jail.
Assistant United States Attorney Anne Pings opposes this request. The government, however, will suffer no undue prejudice from a one month continuance of Mr. McNeal's sentencing. Indeed, the only reason for the opposition is the Assistant's desire to close the case efficiently. The case has been continued by stipulation on many occasions in order to accommodate the government and the agreed upon resolution in this case. There is no undue prejudice to the government by such a continuance, and Mr. McNeal would greatly appreciate the opportunity to see his ailing sister before he goes to prison for 112 months.
A proposed order is attached and lodged separately for the court's convenience.
DATED:August 27, 2008 Respectfully submitted, DANIEL BRODERICK Federal Defender LEXI NEGIN Assistant Federal Defender Attorney for Earnest McNeal
For the reasons set forth in the Defendant's Motion to Continue Sentencing, filed on August 27, 2008, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the sentencing hearing currently scheduled for September 2, 2008, be continued to October 6, 2008, at 8:30 a.m.
If the government wishes the court to reconsider this order, at any time before September 2, 2008 the United States Attorney may file a written motion for reconsideration, setting forth the reasons for opposition to defendant's request. The court will rule on any such motion as soon as possible without the necessity of any oral hearing.
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