On April 10, 2015, Alexander Blair, the Defendant in United States v. Blair, D. Kan. Case No. 15-CR-40031, was charged with Misprision of a Felony (a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 4). The Complaint charging Misprision of a Felony alleged that Mr. Blair had knowledge that John T. Booker Jr. intended to carry out criminal acts and failed to report his knowledge to the proper authorities. On April 23, 2015, Mr. Blair’s charge was augmented when the United States filed an Information charging Conspiracy (a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371), an offense carrying a statutory maximum penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment. The Information alleged that Mr. Blair entered a conspiracy with John T. Booker Jr. by lending Booker money to rent a storage unit that was to be used to store materials Booker intended to use in committing his crimes. On May 5, 2016, Mr. Blair notified the court of his intent to plead guilty to the Information and filed a written factual basis for his plea, acknowledging that he lent Booker $100. On October 18, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, the Honorable Daniel D. Crabtree presiding, sentenced Mr. Blair to 15 months’ imprisonment followed by 2 years’ supervised release. Below are links to the Complaint, the Information, the factual basis for Mr. Blair’s plea, and a statement from the Blair family on its reaction to Mr. Blair’s sentence.
Alex’s genetic condition made him easily manipulated and unable to appreciate the gravity of his conduct. Parents of children with Williams syndrome wrote more than a dozen thoughtful and touching letters to Judge Crabtree attesting to the effects of the syndrome, and the defense expert testified that Alex functioned at the level of an 11-year-old. While I believe that a prison sentence was not the right outcome, I appreciate that Judge Crabtree recognized that the government’s demand for five years in prison was overreaching.