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United States v. DeMarrias

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

July 12, 2018

United States of America Plaintiff- Appellee
v.
Jesse James DeMarrias Defendant-Appellant

          Submitted: May 18, 2018

          Appeal from United States District Court for the District of South Dakota - Aberdeen

          Before SHEPHERD, KELLY, and GRASZ, Circuit Judges.

          SHEPHERD, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Jesse James DeMarrias appeals his sentence of a lifetime term of supervised release. We affirm.

         I. Background

         In March 2010, 21-year-old DeMarrias engaged in sexual acts with a 12-year-old female. He later pled guilty to sexual abuse of a minor in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1153 and 2243(a), and the district court[1] sentenced him to 37 months imprisonment to be followed by 10 years of supervised release. His supervised release commenced in May 2013, but was revoked two times: in May 2014, after he assaulted a staff member and was terminated from his placement center, and in May 2015, after he was again terminated from his placement center. Following each revocation, the district court sentenced DeMarrias to 12 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release.

         In November 2016, DeMarrias admitted to having violated the terms of his supervised release yet a third time by assaulting a police officer. The district court held a revocation hearing on January 5, 2017 ("initial hearing"), in which the court announced its intent to impose a sentence of 24 months imprisonment and 2 years of supervised release. Immediately thereafter, DeMarrias's counsel requested DeMarrias undergo a psychological examination. The district court ordered the Bureau of Prisons to conduct the examination and deferred imposing a sentence until it could consider the results.

         The report from the examination diagnosed DeMarrias with personality disorder with borderline antisocial features[2] and paraphilic disorder: a condition characterized by abnormal sexual desires that can manifest in deviant sexual behavior. The report found DeMarrias was at "significant risk of recidivism" for deviant behaviors, including sexual behavior with minors. In conclusion, the report stated DeMarrias "should be closely monitored upon release from incarceration," finding his "difficulties are of a characterological and pervasive nature, and will likely prove, [and] have proven, resistant to change."

         After receiving the report, the district court held a final revocation hearing on June 12, 2017 ("final hearing"). The court found the report "alarming" and sentenced DeMarrias to 24 months imprisonment and supervised release for life.

         II. Discussion

         We review a sentence imposed upon revocation of supervised release under a "deferential-abuse-of-discretion standard." United States v. Johnson, 827 F.3d 740, 744 (8th Cir. 2016) (internal quotation marks omitted). "This standard requires us first to ensure that the district court committed no significant procedural error and second, if there is no procedural error, to ensure the sentence was substantively reasonable." Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).

         Although DeMarrias does not frame his argument as a procedural challenge, he claims, in passing, that the district court failed to consider the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors and failed to adequately explain its reasoning, both of which constitute procedural errors. United States v. Williams, 624 F.3d 889, 896 (8th Cir. 2010). Thus, out of an abundance of caution, we first consider whether the district court erred procedurally.

         When revoking supervised release and imposing a new sentence, a district court should consider the factors set forth in § 3553(a). The court need not, however, "mechanically list every § 3553(a) consideration." United States v. White Face, 383 F.3d 733, 740 (8th Cir. 2004). "If it is evident the district court was aware of the relevant factors in imposing the sentence, we may ...


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