Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Statment of PC Not Sufficient to Determine Prior
US v. Donnell: This is a pretty straight forward application of Shepard. Donnell was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. His Guideline range was enhanced because the district court concluded that his prior Maryland conviction for second-degree assault was a "crime of violence." That conclusion was based on a "statement of probable cause" that the Government presented at sentencing in order to sort out the facts of the incident. Of course, such a statement was not part of the Shepard-approved documents during the plea hearing in Maryland, thus the Fourth Circuit concludes that the district court erred by considering it. Sentence vacated and remanded for further proceedings.