Before Pillault took the stand, the parties stipulated to the fact that no weapons, bombs, incendiary substances, materials that could be used to make bombs, or drawings of attack plans were found in Pillault's house. Cabrera, 288 F.3d 163, 168 (5th Cir.2002) (per curiam). Violent threats alone are not sufficient to justify the enhancement. At the sentencing hearing, the district court heard testimony from two ex-girlfriends regarding Pillault's obsession with Columbine, his specific plans to recreate the Columbine attack, and his efforts to research and acquire materials that would be necessary to achieve his plans. With respect to the § 3553(a) factors, “ ‘[a] non-Guideline sentence unreasonably fails to reflect the statutory sentencing factors where it (1) does not account for a factor that should have received significant weight, (2) gives significant weight to an irrelevant or improper factor, or (3) represents a clear error of judgment in balancing the sentencing factors.’ “ United States v. Pillault describes the “circumstances of the offense” as “two hotheads playing an online fantasy video game deliberately provoking one another with the most offensive comments they can muster” and claims that these circumstances were “wholly unaccounted for in the district court's 72–month sentence․” Pillault concludes that because the sentence does not account for this mitigating factor, the sentence is substantively unreasonable. Before the district court announced its sentence, Pillault's counsel made a similar argument, urging the court to find that the circumstances of the offense warranted leniency. Giving due deference to the district court's balancing of the § 3553(a) factors, see United States v.Pillault denied ever having drafted or drawn a plan to attack Oxford High School and claimed that GF1's testimony was untruthful. “[I]n determining whether an enhancement applies, a district court is permitted to draw reasonable inferences from the facts, and these inferences are fact-findings reviewed for clear error as well.” United States v. The district court also heard testimony about two specific instances when Pillault made, or attempted to make, bombs. “Appellate review for substantive reasonableness is ‘highly deferential,’ because the sentencing court is in a better position to find facts and judge their import under the § 3553(a) factors with respect to a particular defendant.” United States v. When a sentence is outside the Guidelines range, this court “may consider the extent of the deviation, but must give due deference to the district court's decision that the § 3553(a) factors, on a whole, justify the extent of the variance.” Gall, 552 U. Fraga, 704 F.3d 432, 440 (5th Cir.2013) (quoting United States v. The Nature and Circumstances of the Offense Pillault argues that the sentence imposed is substantively unreasonable because it fails to account for a sentencing factor that should have received significant weight, namely “the nature and circumstances of the offense.” See 18 U. By contrast, the government focused on the content of the threats, emphasizing that a threat to reenact Columbine is “so horrific that it's hard for civilized people to even imagine that.” After hearing both arguments, the district court responded that it had “to take very seriously [Pillault's] threats” and emphasized that “[t]he offense conduct in this case could have been extremely severe had [Pillault] acted upon the threats.” The court concluded that an above-guideline sentence was warranted “because of the nature and circumstances of this offense and the history and characteristics of this defendant․” The court ultimately explained that it chose the given sentence because it was “trying to protect the public.”The district court heard each party's description and characterization of the offense and ultimately embraced the government's argument that the nature and circumstances of the offense, specifically the extreme content of the threats, was an aggravating factor rather than a mitigating factor. Gutierrez, 635 F.3d 148, 154 (5th Cir.2011), we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion by declining to place significant weight on the forum in which the comments were made and, instead, focusing on the nature of the threatened conduct and the court's need to protect the public. 2382 (2011)Pillault's final contention is that the district court violated Tapia v.Pillault also denied GF1's account of the Home Depot visit and claimed that while he did possess a copper pipe, he found it in a park and did not ever make, or plan to make, a bomb with it. Specifically, the PSR cited Pillault's trip to Home Depot to obtain a copper pipe for the purpose of making a pipe bomb as well as his “testing” of Molotov cocktails. 1 (“[C]onduct that occurred prior to the offense must be substantially and directly connected to the offense, under the facts of the case taken as a whole.”). § 3553(a)(1), and because the court gave significant weight to Pillault's need for treatment, in violation of Tapia v. Ramos–Delgado, 763 F.3d 398, 400 (5th Cir.2014) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). While Pillault denied any actual intent to carry out his threat and denied ever making, or trying to make, a bomb, the district court, presented with conflicting testimony, made a necessary and valid credibility determination. Davis, 754 F.3d 278, 285 (5th Cir.2014) (explaining that credibility determinations “in sentencing hearings are peculiarly within the province of the trier-of-fact” (quoting United States v. The district court explicitly stated that it found GF1 and GF2 “more believable” than Pillault and emphasized that Pillault's testimony “was self-serving.” In light of the court's credibility determinations, as well as the record as a whole, it is plausible that Pillault intended to carry out his threat to obtain guns, “backup clips, [Molotov] cocktails, [and] pipe bombs” and “level oxford hi[g]h school.” The district court's findings that Pillault actually obtained a copper pipe to make a pipe bomb and tested a home-made Molotov cocktail, and that these overt acts evidenced an intent to carry out the threat, were not clearly erroneous. First, this court must determine whether the district court committed a procedural error, “such as failing to calculate (or improperly calculating) the Guidelines range, treating the Guidelines as mandatory, failing to consider the § 3553(a) factors, selecting a sentence based on clearly erroneous facts, or failing to adequately explain the chosen sentence․” Id. If the sentence is procedurally sound, this court then determines whether the sentence is substantively reasonable, applying a deferential abuse-of-discretion standard. The forum in which the threats were made was not the only circumstance of the offense, and the court did not abuse its discretion when it found that the nature of the threatened conduct outweighed the fact that the comments were made in an online context. Accordingly, we find that the district court's upward variance from the Guidelines was substantively reasonable. at 51 (explaining that a district court commits a procedural error when it “fail[s] to adequately explain the chosen sentence-including an explanation for any deviation from the Guidelines range”). Having elaborated on this public protection concern, the court was not obligated to detail the “particular offense circumstances ․ justifying a sentence outside the guideline range,” as Pillault contends. United States, by giving significant weight to Pillault's need for mental health and drug and alcohol treatment when choosing the given sentence. Post-Tapia, this court has explained that “a sentencing court errs if a defendant's rehabilitative needs are ‘a “dominant factor” ․ [that] inform[s] the district court's [sentencing] decision.” ’ United States v.
You also do need any educational or vocational training or medical care that you can get.
And to the extent I can get that for you while you're incarcerated, I will.
Before DENNIS, PRADO, and HIGGINSON, Circuit Judges. Pillault was indicted and pleaded guilty to Count Two of a two-count indictment, which charged him with knowingly and willfully communicating, over the internet, a threat to attempt to kill and injure individuals and unlawfully damage and destroy buildings and other real and personal property by means of fire and explosives, in violation of 18 U. According to GF1, Pillault planned to attack Oxford High School and drew specific plans in a notebook detailing how he would carry out the attack.
In addition, Pillault had searched on You Tube and Google for instructions on how to make a sawed-off shotgun and information about Molotov cocktails. She testified that Pillault was obsessed with Columbine and that he admired Dylan Klebold, one of the shooters involved in the Columbine massacre.
The FBI's forensic examiner, who testified at Pillault's sentencing, performed an examination of Pillault's computer and found numerous documents pertaining to the creation of bombs and other explosive devices.
Attorney's Office, Oxford, MS, for Plaintiff–Appellee. The FBI also obtained a search warrant for electronic devices, which it executed that same day.
The FBI obtained an arrest warrant and arrested Pillault in their home on October 8, 2014.
The gaming company sent Pillault's account details to the OPD, which, after enlisting the help of the FBI, traced the offending account's IP address to a computer registered to Pillault's mother.
But I think a sentence above the advisory guideline range is appropriate in this case, first, to protect the public from further crimes from this defendant; second, I have considered the nature and characteristics of this defendant.
His mental health history is of concern to the Court.
Players can communicate with each other by typing comments, which appear above the players' characters as well as in a chat box at the bottom of the screen.