Well, it looks like the Feds originally blew another one - at least in part. On April 14th, 2009, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that former National Alliance members Shaun Walker and Travis Massey were over-sentenced, while re-affirming Eric Egbert's original sentence. They remanded the case back to the original Federal district court in Utah for re-sentencing. Full story published in the Deseret News, discussion thread on the Vanguard News Network Forum.
Walker and Massey were indicted and later convicted of conspiring to interfere with civil rights, and aiding and abetting the interference with a federally protected activity. Walker was sentenced to 87 months in prison, and Massey was put behind bars for 57 months. A third man, Eric G. Egbert, was convicted of the same crimes and was sentenced to 42 months in prison. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling does not affect his situation.
-- All previous posts on the indictment phase viewable HERE.
-- All previous posts on the trial phase viewable HERE.
Court records state that the three men beat up a Mexican-American man, Jimmy Ballesteros, at the O'Shucks Bar in Salt Lake City in 2002, and Massey and another man assaulted an unidentified American Indian man at the now-shuttered Port O'Call Bar in 2003.
The appeals court upheld many aspects of the U.S. District Court's sentencings of Walker and Massey, which the two men had challenged. However, the appeals court did find certain flaws that it said merited resentencing for the pair.
One was a U.S. District Court's finding that one victim suffered "serious bodily injury." The appeals court said there was no evidence of serious bodily injury, not enough eyewitness evidence to show the man who was beaten would have needed medical care, and he could not be found after the attack. This is in reference to the second incident at the Port O'Call.
In addition, Walker challenged an "enhancement" of his sentencing because he had been characterized as a "leader or organizer" of the group. "From the record, it does not appear that Mr. Walker exercised any more authority than any other member of the group," the appeals court wrote. "The mere fact of Mr. Walker's leadership position in the (National Alliance) does not indicate he held a leadership position with respect to the criminal enterprise". Read the court's full 25-page opinion HERE.
The case has been remanded back to the original district court in Utah for the re-sentencing. In addition to his account of the ordeal HERE, his reaction to this development is now posted HERE. Here's an excerpt:
Theoretically, this is a reduction of 11 points for Shaun which would put him at 18 points or a recommended sentence of 27-33 months. With good time credit, this would compute to a release date of 3/9/09 (conveniently already past) - 8/15/09. We expect the higher end of the range as the judge, local newspapers and community are obviously prejudiced against Shaun.
Bad News: Now we have to wait for a re-sentencing hearing date and the BOP to write a new PSI/PSR report. Shaun may have to travel back to Salt Lake City which could take months.
They will be re-sentenced by the SAME judge. The judge still has discretion on sentencing but must justify a sentence different than that calculated by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
I fully expect that EVERY delay will be made. Salt Lake City newspapers are restarting their one-side smear campaign again.
This is the first time in 3 years that we’ve had justice. We fully expect future highs/lows/disappointments but for today..... it is a good day!
They still should never have been subjected to Federal charges in the first place. Since when does a bar fight become a civil rights issue? What's worse is that they were convicted by an all-white jury.