Sentencing delayed for former Mooreville teacher

WHITT

WHITT

By JB Clark

Daily Journal

OXFORD – The sentencing of an ex-Mooreville High School substitute teacher on charges of enticing a minor student to engage in sexually explicit conduct has been delayed.

Matthew Blake Whitt, 24, request his sentencing be delayed while the United States Senate considers a new law that would allow federal judges to give offenders smaller sentences.

The Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, a proposed law that would allow federal judges to give sentences lower than the federal minimum, is currently in the Committee on Judiciary in the U.S. Senate.

The bill was read and referred to committee in March 2013. It’s aim is to provide relief for a swelling federal prison population.

Whitt entered a plea of guilty Sept. 5 on charges of enticing a 15-year-old to engage in sexually explicit conduct with him.

The girl was a student at Mooreville High School.

Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills, of the Northern District of Mississippi, granted the request to continue a sentencing hearing, scheduling a new hearing for April 17 at 10 a.m. in Oxford.

Whitt was originally scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.

He was also indicted on three charges of sexual battery in May 2013 by a Lee County grand jury. The alleged incidents occurred in 2012.