SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge sentenced a convicted felon to life in prison for two robberies in Iowa, calling him one of the most dangerous people he’s ever seen.
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett made the comment at 23-year-old Jamal Dean’s sentencing on Friday, according to the Sioux City Journal (https://bit.ly/1Jwy3nl ). Authorities say the Sioux City man has a criminal record stretching back to age 7, and he’s been incarcerated seven times.
Many of his crimes involved guns. Bennett said the violence from someone so young is something he’s never seen out of the 4,000 defendants he has sentenced in more than 20 years.
“You are one of the most dangerous people and threats to society that I’ve ever seen,” Bennett said. “I’m a huge believer in mercy. I’m a believer in second chances, third chances. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d use the discretion given to me by the United States Supreme Court that I’m about to.”
Dean’s attorney, Stuart Dornan, of Omaha, said he would appeal the sentence and declined to comment further.
Dean was found guilty in August of conspiracy, weapons, car-jacking and robbery charges. The charges were tied to separate robberies of drug dealers in April 2013.
That same jury found his brother, Levon Dean Jr., 25, also of Sioux City, guilty of conspiracy, firearm and robbery charges for the same robberies. Levon Dean was sentenced to more than 33 years in prison.
To bolster the case that Jamal Dean was a violent offender, prosecutors on Friday introduced evidence of violence dating back nine years, including a violent sexual assault when Dean was 14, and two shootings in March 2012. Jamal Dean was never charged in those three incidents, but Bennett found that the evidence presented Friday showed he committed them.
The final piece of evidence was Dean’s April 29, 2013, shooting of Sioux City police Officer Kevin McCormick. During a traffic stop, Dean sprang from the passenger seat of a car and fired several shots, one of them hitting McCormick in the head. Dean later pleaded guilty to a state charge of attempted murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com
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