Will Brian Mann ultimately be responsible for getting Raymondo out on appeal?
GALLATIN CO./US DISTRICT CT.—Talk about colossally stupid moves.
Those of you who have been following Disclosure for the past couple of years, and in particular since former Gallatin County sheriff Raymond (“Raymondo”) Martin was arrested in May 2009 and went to trial in September 2010, are very familiar with the intense coverage we gave then entire case. And if you followed the case, you will remember the little incident that occurred on September 14, 2010 when all testimony ground to a halt following a little faux pas with the jury.
You can read the whole amusing incident here, but in brief, what it amounted to was that Brian Mann, accused dope dealer in Gallatin County, was one of the subpoenaed witnesses for Raymondo’s trial (as he was reportedly providing Raymondo with a lot of the weed the sheriff was moving). Mann’s wife, the beleaguered Christy, comes tooling in in the late morning when the prosecution’s star witness, Jeremy Potts, was waxing eloquent about what Raymondo had done to him. It so happened that at that time, the court was taking a break. It also so happened that the jury was missing a juror (she was lost trying to find Benton). Due to miscommunication, court security thought the ‘just here to observe’ Christy was the missing juror, and seated her with the rest of the jury for about five minutes. During that time, no one said anything to anyone, as was clarified that day after being immediately established. Christy went to retrieve court security and they removed her from the presence of the jury, with the trial being suspended until the real juror could arrive.
But apparently, someone with a law degree has convinced Raymondo that this is a reversible error. And hey, a little technical glitch like this—the appointment of a special prosecutor without making a specific request and getting it approved by a judge—was what overturned Julie Rea Harper Kirkpatrick’s 2002 murder conviction in 2004 and got her a new trial, where, with the state’s case sanitized by the bleeding heart leftwingloonies from the Bluhm Legal Clinic in Chicago, a clueless jury exonerated her.
Wouldn’t that be something if it happened to Raymondo? Boy, there’d be some hell to pay in Gallatin if the former sheriff got a new trial…and a real attorney to defend him.
Fortunately, it doesn’t look like Raymondo has Bluhm Legal Clinic to help him—as was the threat back in January, upon his sentencing—but instead has a Chicago firm of Kirkland & Ellis. They might be affiliated with Bluhm….we’ll see. In the meantime, the attorneys from Kirkland and Ellis, Diana Watral and Christopher Catizone, have more complaints about the way the case went in Benton last September.
They claim “the district court committed plain error when it relied on an incorrect guidelines calculation in sentencing Mr. Martin. The PSR stated that the guidelines range was 60 months to life for Count 4 and 300 months to life for Count 5. These calculations were incorrect, for neither guidelines range stretches to include life. The proper guidelines sentence is simply 60 months for Count 4 and 300 months for Count 5. Because it is plainly erroneous to impose a sentence based on an incorrect guidelines calculation, Mr. Martin is entitled to a new sentencing.”
We’re not so sure about that. We sat and listened to explanation of sentencing, and it’s nowhere near as simple as what they’re explaining here. The guidelines on an ARMED commission of a drug crime seek enhanced sentencing, and it looks like they’re totally overlooking the fact that Raymondo was convicted, on counts 4 and 5, of unlawful use of a weapon in the commission of a drug crime. Of course, they’re not the only ones to look at this set of charges incorrectly….seems a lot of mislead (or lazy) news media wants to overlook the fact that Raymondo was sentenced to life on counts 4 and 5, not on later counts of murder for hire.
Anyway, that’s their argument, that the court (Judge J. Phil Gilbert, one of the finest judges we’ve ever beheld) erred when he let Christy Mann stay in the courtroom with her and Bryan’s attorney Paula Newcomb, and that he misapplied sentencing. In a 66-page report, they lay it out painfully and repeatedly, but that’s all there is. And if that’s the best they’ve got, they may be in trouble November 2 when the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago will hear the arguments.
Raymondo is in Atwater Federal Prison in California. He wants to be present when the arguments are made. Not that we blame him, but the feds probably won’t let him. However, if his attorneys are successful, expect to see and hear more from the former sheriff, as we’re apparently not done with him yet.
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