Along with the three summary affirmances in Coleman, Wilson, and Matospacheco came a summary reversal in United States v. Evans, __ M.J. ___, No. 07-0476/NA (C.A.A.F. Nov. 16, 2007) (summary disposition). Evans is yet another opinion that appears to be available only on NKO. United States v. Evans, No. NMCCA 200600806 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. March 29, 2007). Dentalman Evans was found guilty of offenses including premeditated murder and was sentenced to LWOP, but apparently pursuant to a pretrial agreement, the "without eligibility for parole" portion of the sentence was suspended until Evans' discharge from the Navy.
Before the Navy-Marine Corps Court, the defense raised nine issues, all relating to a provision in the pretrial agreement that waived Evans' right to be considered for clemency or parole for forty years. NMCCA set aside that provision pursuant to United States v. Tate, 64 M.J. 269 (C.A.A.F. 2007), but otherwise approved the findings and sentence.
After the Navy-Marine Corps Court ruled, however, the suspension of the "without eligibility for parole" portion of Evans' sentence was vacated. That led CAAF to grant Evans' petition, set aside NMCCA's decision, and remand the case to NMCCA for consideration of these three issues:
I. WHETHER A PROVISION OF APPELLANT’S PRETRIAL AGREEMENT THAT AUTHORIZES THE CONVENING AUTHORITY TO SUSPEND A PORTION OF HIS SENTENCE UNTIL HE IS “DISCHARGED FROM THE U.S. NAVY” IS FOR AN UNREASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME WITHIN THE MEANING OF R.C.M. 1108(d) AND SHOULD BE VOID FOR INDEFINITENESS.
II. WHETHER APPELLANT’S SUSPENDED SENTENCE WAS IMPROPERLY VACATED BECAUSE HIS ALLEGED MISCONDUCT WAS NOT A MATERIAL BREACH OF THE PRETRIAL AGREEMENT.
III. WHETHER APPELLANT’S SUSPENDED SENTENCE WAS IMPROPERLY VACATED BECAUSE THE R.C.M. 1109 VACATION HEARING WAS NOT HELD WITHIN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME.