Friday, September 02, 2016

U.S. v. Singer, 2016 WL 3244869 (6/13/16) (NM) - appeal of sentence for drunk driving involuntary manslaughter offense that took place in Church Rock. The victim was a pedestrian who was decapitated and dismembered by the impact. The victim's wife saw all of this; she had crossed the road in front of her husband. Mr. Singer got a 75-month sentence that he challenged on procedural and substantive grounds. The Tenth affirms. It decides that an offense level enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 3C1.2 properly relied on facts other than the manslaughter itself and the reckless operation of a vehicle that was part of it. The additional facts included Mr. Singer's high speed flight from the scene of the crime, which created a risk of injury or death to other persons. An upward departure under § 5K2.14 was also appropriate based on Mr. Singer's elevated blood alcohol level, flight from and danger to law enforcement officers, and the extreme degree of risk to members of the public before and after the manslaughter took place. The sentence, about 18 months above the top of the guidelines range, was also substantively reasonable. It was based on the brutality of the victim's death in his wife's presence, Mr. Singer's arrest for DWI and resulting loss of his license about six months earlier, and his assault of law enforcement officers after being arrested in this case.