A 22-year-old man facing possible prison time for violating federal copyright law by posting the superhero flick “Deadpool” to his Facebook page days after it opened in theaters was a no-show Thursday for his sentencing hearing in downtown Los Angeles.
Trevon Maurice Franklin missed the Greyhound bus from Fresno, where he lives, his lawyer said. U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt permitted Franklin to surrender to U.S. marshals in downtown Los Angeles by 3 p.m. Friday, but said that the court would issue a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest if he failed to meet the deadline.
It was the second time Franklin has missed a scheduled hearing in Los Angeles federal court. On June 6, he was a no-show for his change-of-plea hearing, which took place the following week.
Franklin used the screen name “Tre-Von M. King” when he illegally uploaded the R-rated Marvel action film eight days after its February 2016 release, allowing it to be viewed for free on Facebook over six million times, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Franklin downloaded the Ryan Reynolds film from the free video streaming site Putlocker before uploading it to Facebook, according to his plea agreement.
He pleaded guilty to a federal class-A misdemeanor count of criminal copyright infringement, which carries a possible penalty of up to a year behind bars and a $100,000 fine.
Government prosecutors, however, are asking that Kronstadt sentence Franklin to six months in prison, followed by a year of supervised release. The defense agrees with a pretrial services recommendation of one year of probation.
In a letter to the court, Franklin said he regrets posting the movie, now realizing that “every action has its consequences. I didn’t think how serious the crime was that was being committed.”
The judge said a sentencing hearing would be scheduled for the first Thursday after the date Franklin is taken into custody.