Bloomberg Law
May 26, 2023, 1:42 PM

Drug Defendant Properly Sentenced Despite His Absence From Court

Bernie Pazanowski
Bernie Pazanowski

A drug defendant who consistently violated the terms of his supervised release and then failed to show up for his sentencing was properly sentenced in asbsentia, the First Circuit said.

The sentencing court didn’t err when it decided that José Rivera-Nazario was voluntarily absent from the proceedings, the opinion by Judge Gustavo A. Gelpí said Thursday.

After his arrest on drug charges in October 2019, Rivera-Nazario was released on bond with pretrial supervision. He remained on release after pleading guilty on March 4, 2020. From that point, Rivera-Nazario engaged in an escalating series of release violations, including using drugs, not ...

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