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The sentencing of Deric Lostutter turned out to be far more interesting than I had originally anticipated. I was under the impression that there would be the normal course of business by the defense and prosecution, the judge would make his statement, Deric would be sentenced and that would be that.

Boy was I wrong!!!

I arrived in Lexington, Tuesday afternoon and immediately went to the clerk of the court office on the second floor to check on any last minute filings as well as get an idea of how soon the transcripts of the hearing would be released.

I then did a stream outside of the courthouse, briefly and left the courthouse for the day.

On Wednesday I arrived early to do a brief stream and since it was bone chilling cold, I decided to go to a deli across the street and get a hot chocolate. It was then a waiting game until around 8:30 am when I went to the courthouse to wait to see if Deric arrived.

I had noticed for men across the street walking from the parking garage to a small plaza across from the court where I had planned on setting up until I found I could do so in front of the courthouse.

While on live stream and talking to a woman who happened to be coming up the steps to the entrance, Deric, his lawyer and two men passed within feet of me.

I immediately logged off the chat, packed my gear and went into the courthouse.

I decided to visit the restroom and passed right by Deric and his entourage who were having a conversation while waiting to go into the courtroom.

I passed them again on the way back to the courtroom which was down a hallway beyond the USMS security checkpoint.

I was able to find a place to sit that turned out to be immediately behind Deric and his lawyer. The two men who had accompanied Deric were sitting to my right.

The courtroom is quite small. There are two long pews that would probably hold a total of 30 people if they were to squeeze in them together.

Beyond the usual separation barrier were two desks one in front of me and the other to the left. The prosecution party sat on the left and Deric and his atty on the right.

At first there were three men sitting at the prosecution table. One was the prosecuting atty, left of him was an FBI agent and a third unidentified man was to the left of the agent. Several minutes later, a man in a beige trenchcoat arrived and the others seemed to be surprised to see him there.

After he arrived, A tall slim woman 3ish with long black hair came into the entrance and stood behind the man with the trench coat. She gave a paper to him and turned to face me. It was then that I recognized this woman as a secret service agent because of the lapel pin she was wearing. She left the courtroom and never returned.

Then there was the normal course of business where the prosecution and defense attys went up to the court clerk and gave her papers and had a discussion.

The bailiff, one of the two USMS men in court, had us all stand while the judge came out of chambers and sat behind his place at the bench.

The first order of business was a motion by the defense to try and remove the “sophisticated means” addendum removed from the judgement. Tor tried to argue that “guessing the password to a 12 dollar website and using a vpn etc” was not sophisticated means” There was a back and forth between him and the judge that seemed to turn into an argument with the judge indicating that Tor was giving an argument he was losing.

Throughout the discussion of this issue, the judge cited a number of case laws that demonstrated that he did not have to “cherry pick” similar cases throughout the country when deciding the level of sentencing in Derics case.

The judge reminded Tor that he and his client had agreed to the the use of sophisticated means in the commission of the crime when the plea agreement was made.

When the government atty took his turn, he repeated the sophisticated means argument going into detail exactly what Deric and Noah McHugh did when the hacking of the website occurred and their subsequent actions when the hacking took place.

The judge then went on to state his reasoning for coming to his decision also noting in the government’s argument that Deric had engaged in a large number of actions such as concealing his identity and that of others, taking the hacked website off shore and denying access to the actual owner of the case. He included the false accusations made about a coverup by Ohio law enforcement as well as the stealing of the content of website (emails,  images and so forth)

It was around this time that I noticed that a blonde woman sitting next to another male around 30 who were also sitting with the probation officers was staring at me or at least in my direction.

I have later learned that there is speculation that this couple was Deric’s brother and his newlywed wife. This speculation has not been confirmed. Normally only people who are a party to the case sit in this section.

The judge soon finished explaining why he came to the decision he had. He overruled the defense motion and went into the process of sentencing.

The defense informed the court that Deric wanted to make a statement. Deric stood up, facing the judge and made a statement that was a bit over 5 minutes long. He stated that he “has been trying to put this incident behind him for the past three years. He said he has been a law abiding citizen for the past three years and his been making a living and providing for his family.”

He did apologize to his victims and stated that he likely went too far in trying to “do the right thing.”

Then things got really intense. I have been to quite a number of these kinds of hearings and for the most part they are routine. The judge usually makes a brief summery and then hands down the judgement by the court.

It was not even close here. The judge went into the judicial version of an ass reaming of Deric. More than once, he called Deric, a bully, an abuser, a person who only got involved in cases for fame and fortune. He noted that Deric (as did the prosecution) that Deric had violated his probation twice. He made it clear that Deric needed a severe sentencing in order to deter him and others from similar actions in the future.

Key in his ass reaming of Deric was the reading of the impact statement by Jane M Hanlin, the Jefferson, Ohio county prosecutor who had first became involved in the investigation of the rape and who had recused herself because her son was a student at Steubenville and was acquainted to the defendants in that case.

His reading of her letter and the discussion of its contents was the longest portion of the hearing. It was likely this letter that caused Deric to get the sentence he received.

Deric got 24 months to be served in a federal prison to be determined by May 8 2017 which is when Deric is to turn himself in to the yet unknown institution.

The judge then read the additional restrictions and the 3 year supervised probation that Deric will have to serve upon his release.

One major restriction is that Deric is banned from the internet, he cannot get a job in any aspect of the IT industry and he cannot contact, stalk, extort or otherwise harass anyone on or off the internet with those intents in mind.

He has also lost the ownership of anything that had to do with the hacking and subsequent actions. This includes at least two computers and peripherals, software and other unknown items that were taken in the FBI raid.

The hearing went long and thus it caused the next case that was supposed to start at 10 am  be late. The judge then ajourned long enough for everyone to clear the courtroom so that the parties to the next case could enter.

I immediately left the courtroom and went outside to wait for Deric to come out.

Next: Deric’s presser.

Stay tuned