Machete plot appeal nixed
Man sentenced to 20 years
NEW YORK — The courtroom outburst of a supporter of a terrorist group is evidence that he deserves his 20-year prison term for plotting a New Year’s Eve machete attack in upstate New York, an appeals court concluded as it rejected his claims Thursday that the sentence is unfair.
Emanuel Lutchman, 28, appealed the sentence he received last year upon pleading guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, the Islamic State group.
He maintained through his lawyer that the length of his punishment was unfair because the plot relied on assistance and participation of government operatives and because of his mental illness. Federal authorities and informants thwarted Lutchman’s planned December 2015 knife and machete attack at the Merchants Grill in Rochester.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision written by Judge Dennis Jacobs, concluded that Lutchman’s sentence, the maximum allowable, was reasonable.
The three-judge appeals panel cited Lutchman’s behaviour at his sentencing, saying it validated U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci’s decision to give him two decades in prison, despite Lutchman’s claims before sentencing that he had moved on from a radical Islamic ideology.