The Richmond Register

Crime

February 4, 2013

Sentencing delayed in Chenault federal cocaine-trafficking case

Family members asking court for leniency

(Continued)

LEXINGTON —



Chenault fights sentencing range

Chenault’s attorney Michael R. Mazzoli filed a sentencing memorandum Jan. 25, objecting to his client’s presentence assessment that set Chenault’s punishment range at 30 years to life in prison, according to the court document.

The memorandum stated that the U.S. attorney has not proven that Chenault was the ringleader of the trafficking ring, instead claiming that Catching was at least equal in rank if not superior to Chenault in the group.

Also, the memorandum claimed that other people associated with the trafficking ring have received less than the minimum sentences recommended by federal guidelines after they entered into plea agreements.

Catching was sentenced last year to 100 months in prison, and Chenault’s girlfriend, Christina Thieleman, received a sentence of 120 months.

The memorandum concluded with Mazzoli asking U.S. District Court Judge Joseph M. Hood to consider a sentence of 10 years in the case, arguing this term was not lenient because it would remove Chenault from his three children’s lives during their preteen years.

The U.S. attorney’s office filed a response Friday, stating testimony from Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent Russel King at the sentencing hearing will refute Chenault’s claims that his sentencing range was set incorrectly.

Several letters have been entered into the official court record from Chenault’s family members, asking the judge for leniency.

Chenault’s father, Stone Chenault, said that his son was a hard worker from an early age, and with his “charm, wit and persuasion techniques,” he showed himself to be a natural salesman when working at his father's clothing store as a teen.

Stone Chenault said Jakolbe has never been a violent person, and he did not deserve to be “up with animals and other violent criminals for the rest of his life.”

Chenault’s sister, Sherialle Chenault, said her brother had already started to change his life when he was charged in the trafficking conspiracy, and this was “an example of a man's past catching up with him.”

 

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