The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY — The 500-month sentence of a Canyon, Texas, man who pleaded guilty to kidnapping a 10-year-old girl in the Oklahoma Panhandle and transporting her across state lines will stand, a federal appeals court has ruled.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday disagreed with Terrance McGuire’s argument that his punishment of 41 years and eight months was “substantively unreasonable.”
“Given the egregiousness of McGuire’s conduct, we cannot say that the district court abused its discretion when it imposed a 500-month sentence,” the judges wrote in the order.
McGuire’s attorney, Denver-based federal public defender Howard Pincus, didn’t immediately return a call on Wednesday seeking comment.
The girl was riding her bike near her home in Texhoma in 2007 when McGuire lured her into his car, authorities said. He put a mask over her head, bound her arms and placed her in the car’s trunk, they said.
McGuire drove her to Dumas, Texas, then to Canyon before releasing her the next day at a Clovis, N.M., convenience store, court records show.
In his appeal, McGuire argued the lower court placed undue emphasis on the victim’s age and the fact that she was sexually assaulted. His appeal also argued the lower court didn’t adequately weigh that he expressed remorse and released the child within 24 hours of the abduction.
The appeals court noted that the lower court “justified” its decision to go above the sentencing guidelines by highlighting aspects of the crime, notably the girl’s young age, that McGuire sexually assaulted her and that the crime changed her life.
The appeals court wrote that while his remorse and other factors might have inclined them to impose a lower punishment if they were in the position to do so, that isn’t enough “justify” reversing McGuire’s sentence.