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149073 - People v Lockridge (Rahim)

The People of the State of Michigan,
 
Danielle Walton
 
Plaintiff-Appellee,
 
v
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)
 
 
(Oakland – Grant, N.)
 
Rahim Omarkhan Lockridge,
 
Brett DeGroff
 
Defendant-Appellant.
 

Summary

Defendant was sentenced to 8 to 15 years’ imprisonment for his jury-based conviction of involuntary manslaughter. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion by imposing a 10-month upward departure from the sentencing guidelines.   Defendant also argued that the sentencing guidelines were scored using factors not admitted or proven to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt, in violation of the United States Supreme Court’s recent opinion, Alleyne v United States 570 US __ (2013).
 
The Court of Appeals in a published opinion affirmed defendant’s sentence but remanded the case to the trial court for the ministerial task of correcting the presentence investigation report (PSIR). With regard to defendant’s Alleyne argument, the Court of Appeals noted that it was bound by People v Herron, 303 Mich App 392 (2013), in which the Court of Appeals held that Alleyne did not apply to Michigan’s sentencing guidelines.  Defendant appealed.
 
In an order dated June 11, 2014, the Supreme Court, granted leave to appeal the February 13, 2014 judgment of the Court of Appeals and directed the parties to address: (1) whether a judge’s determination of the appropriate sentencing guidelines range establishes a “mandatory minimum sentence,” such that the facts used to score the offense variables must be admitted by the defendant or established beyond a reasonable doubt to the trier of fact; and (2) whether the fact that a judge may depart downward from the sentencing guidelines range for “substantial and compelling” reasons, prevents the sentencing guidelines from being a “mandatory minimum” under Alleyne, see United States v Booker.