Attorney argues against Grant sentencing on federal charges - - Columbia, South Carolina

Attorney argues against Grant sentencing on federal charges


Judges from the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will decide if Freddie Grant's court martial convictions should have been counted toward his enhanced sentence on federal gun charges.

Grant wasn't at the hearing Wednesday. He's serving 15 years in a federal prison in Kentucky on the ammunition charges. In the plea agreement in the kidnapping and death of Gabbiee Swainson, once Grant completes his sentence in federal prison, me must serve another 30 years in a South Carolina prison. 

A three-judge panel heard evidence at the University of South Carolina Law School. The proceedings typically would have been held in Washington, D.C. but were held at USC so hundreds of students could watch the process.

Grant's court-appointed attorney argued that the military court system is different than civilian court and therefore  convictions in the military system shouldn't count against him or allow his sentence to be enhanced. 

Grant was charged after ammunition was found inside his home during the investigation into Swainson's disappearance.  As a convicted felon, Grant was unable to have the ammunition. 

Grant was convicted in the kidnapping and murder of Swainson last year.

The probation officer who prepared the pre-sentence investigation under the Armed Career Criminal Act used three prior military convictions to enhance Grant's sentence to 17 years. The government argued that the military court convictions could be considered because those courts contain procedural safeguards, allowing for access to documents in previous cases.

Grant's attorney is asking for the sentence to be vacated and the case re-sentenced.  The judges will take the case under consideration and issue an opinion at a later date.

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