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After attempting and failing to withdraw his guilty plea, a man from Knoxville, Tennessee, who was found guilty of creating child pornography, including the videotaped sexual abuse of a 4-and-a-half-year-old girl visiting his home, was sentenced to serve 60 years in federal prison. In the Eastern District of Tennessee courtroom of U.S. District Judge Katherine A.
Crytzer, a late 2020 Trump appointee who assisted in guiding Justice Brett Kavanaugh through Senate confirmation hearings after his nomination to the Supreme Court, Andrew Stephen Couch, 37, received his punishment on Thursday. Couch was given a 60-year sentence by Krytzer, which included two consecutive 30-year sentences and a lifetime of supervised release.
Andrew Stephen Age
Andrew Stephen is 38 years old.
Notably, on February 2 Couch’s defence lawyer Mike Whalen submitted a motion to reverse his client’s guilty plea to two counts of producing child pornography (counts 2 and 3 in the indictment).”Looking at the plea agreement as a contract it is clear that a near tripling of the length of sentence would suggest that the parties did not reach a meeting of the minds and as such, Mr Counch [sic] should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea,” the attorney said.
The defence attorney had criticised the “non-elected” U.S. Sentencing Commission and its guidelines in a sentencing memorandum from December 2022 for suggesting 60 years in prison for his client rather than a “sufficient” punishment that is “not greater than necessary.”
Whalen stated, “If, as in this case, the non mandatory Guidelines result in an absurd result, this Court should disregard those guidelines, consider the expectations of the parties in negotiating the contract they signed and apply the 18 U.S.C. 3553 factors to craft a sentence’sufficient, but not greater than necessary’ to comply with the four purposes of sentencing set forth in Section 3553(a)(2).”
Couch, he added, was “a 37 year old man with serious charges but a very good record The court did not disregard the rules and obviously disagreed with Couch’s claim that his criminal past was “very limited.” Including six (6) previous adult criminal convictions, the defendant has a significant history of involvement with the criminal justice system.
He is not a rookie,” Judge Crytzer stated in a mid-March ruling, outlining six justifications for her decision to deny Couch’s request to withdraw his plea. Finally, unless the defendant first proves a fair and equitable justification for enabling the withdrawal, the United States need not show any prejudice resulting from the probable withdrawal of a guilty plea.
“The Defendant has not met his burden,” the judge continued.According to the Department of Justice, Couch had “thousands” of child pornographic images and films of “unidentified” children on his phone, in addition to videos documenting his home-based sex assault of a young girl.”According to the signed plea deal, a search warrant was executed at Couch’s residence in December 2019 after it was learned that Couch was disseminating child pornography.
The cell phone belonging to Couch was taken and forensically inspected. Multiple recordings of Couch’s child pornography, in which he performed sexual acts on a four-and-a-half-year-old girl who was visiting Couch’s home, were found on the cell phone, the DOJ claimed in a press statement. “Thousands of additional child pornographic images and videos of unidentified children were also on the cell phone.”