142 F.3d 441 (7th Cir. 1998), 97-2981, U.S. v. Villa

Docket Nº:97-2981.
Citation:142 F.3d 441
Party Name:United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Petra VILLA, Defendant-Appellant
Case Date:April 20, 1998
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 441

142 F.3d 441 (7th Cir. 1998)

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Petra VILLA, Defendant-Appellant

No. 97-2981.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

April 20, 1998

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA7 Rule 53 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Argued March 3, 1998.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 92 CR 832 Paul E. Plunkett, Judge.



After remaining a fugitive for almost seventeen months, Petra Villa pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The district court awarded Villa a two-level reduction under United States Sentencing Guidelines § 3E1.1(a) for acceptance of responsibility, but denied Villa's request for an additional one-level reduction under § 3E1.1(b) for a timely acceptance of responsibility. Villa appeals the district court's denial of the one-level reduction, arguing that the additional one-level adjustment was mandatory since Villa met the requirements of § 3E1.1(b).

On September 23, 1992, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) arrested Villa after she attempted to sell a kilogram of cocaine to an undercover agent and informant. On December 21, 1992, Villa failed to appear at a status hearing and the judge issued a warrant for her arrest. Approximately seventeen months later, in May of 1994, Villa voluntarily surrendered herself to the authorities. On July 14, 1994, Villa pleaded guilty pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement.

At the sentencing hearing the only disputed issue was whether Villa would be awarded a downward adjustment for acceptance of responsibility. The district court determined that it would:

grant the two point reduction on the following grounds: Number 1, Ms. Villa was a fugitive and she's penalized two points for that but, knowing that, she did, after a year and a half or so on the run, come back and she surrendered herself to the authorities, and, having done that, she has now submitted to a version which the Court finds appropriate as an acceptance of responsibility and I think that it is reasonable to do this in light of the fact that she did turn herself in and has been willing not to put her children...

To continue reading