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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Brandon Walters joined the Air Force in 2001 and was stationed at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Walters began exhibiting inappropriate behavior toward others on the base, including the personnel manager, First Sergeant Janet McWilliams. McWilliams recommended Walters be evaluated by a mental health professional to assess his fitness for duty. A military psychiatrist diagnosed Walters with a narcissistic personality disorder, declared him to be potentially dangerous and recommended that he be discharged. McWilliams and another officer met with Walters to give him his discharge packet, and Walters became irate and threatened McWilliams. Several days later, Air Force officers escorted Walters to the airport for a one-way flight home, but he refused to board the plane, escaped from his escort and checked into a local hotel. Over the following weeks, Walters constructed a homemade bomb. He placed the bomb in a brown paper package addressed to McWilliams and left the package on the base. The package was placed in the intrabase mail system and delivered to McWilliams, who opened it in her office. Upon opening, the bomb detonated. McWilliams survived, but in addition to losing her left hand and several fingers on her right hand, she lost her belly button, suffered injury to her right eye, and sustained second and third degree burns. The bomb also damaged the building where she worked. A jury convicted Walters on five counts related to the bombing. The conviction included two counts under 18 U.S.C. �924(c)(1) for use of a destructive device in relation to two crimes of violence, assault on a federal officer and causing damage to a federal building. Section 924(c)(1) carried a 30-year mandatory minimum sentence for a first offense and a mandatory life sentence for a second offense. Walters initially was sentenced to life imprisonment, a sentence the district court erroneously believed to be mandatory under the statute. The 5th Circuit vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing with instructions that the government dismiss one of the two counts under �924(c)(1). At resentencing, Walters still faced a statutory minimum sentence of 30 years on count two, the remaining �924(c)(1) count, to run consecutive to any term imposed on counts No. 1, 3 and 5. The sentencing guidelines recommended that Walters receive the minimum 30 years for the �924 (c)(1) count, but the government argued for a nonguideline term of life imprisonment. The district court ultimately sentenced Walters to concurrent terms of imprisonment of 262 months on counts No. 1, 3 and 5, and a consecutive, nonguideline term of 720 months (60 years) of imprisonment on the remaining �924(c)(1) count. Walters appealed, arguing that the nonguideline sentence was unreasonable. HOLDING:Vacated and remanded. A nonguideline sentence, the court stated, is ultimately reviewed for unreasonableness. At sentencing, the court stated, the district court confirmed that it would impose a nonguideline sentence, because” the guideline system does not adequately take into consideration the seriousness of the offense, the just punishment for the offense, and the protection of the public in this regard.” The court primarily focused on the fact that the crime involved the use of a bomb. The district court at no time pointed to specific facts from the crime, other than the use of a bomb, to explain why 60 years, as opposed to the guideline recommendation of 30 years, was appropriate. The court stated that a district court must articulate more thoroughly its reasons when it imposes a nonguideline sentence. These reasons should be fact-specific and consistent with the sentencing factors enumerated in 18 U.S.C. �3553(a). A nonguideline sentence, the court stated, 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. The court found that the district court, in support of its nonguideline sentence, only articulated factors inherent in all bomb-related crimes and not specific facts relating to Walters and his actions. “[T]here must be more than mere lip service to the �3553(a) factors to justify such a departure,” the court stated in concluding that the district court did not adequately articulate reasons consistent with the sentencing factors to support the reasonableness of this sentence. OPINION:DeMoss, J.; Garwood, Smith and DeMoss, JJ.

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