Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Lewis

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

January 25, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ANDRE S. LEWIS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          LEGROME D. DAVIS, J.

         I. Introduction

         In June and July 2015, Defendant Andre S. Lewis robbed a Wells Fargo bank branch and then attempted on two subsequent occasions to rob a second branch. During these robberies, Lewis handed threatening notes to the tellers, informing one teller that Lewis knew where she lived and had an associate waiting in her house, and representing to another teller that he was carrying a bomb. Lewis was arrested following the third incident. On April 25, 2016, he pleaded guilty to a three-count indictment charging with him bank robbery and attempted bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C § 2113(a).

         A Presentence Investigation Report was created by a United States Probation Officer, and both parties were given the opportunity to object to its contents. The probation officer determined that Lewis was a career offender under section 4B1.1 of the sentencing guidelines, which increased Lewis's offense level by four points and increased his criminal history category to VI. The officer calculated a total offense level of 29 and a criminal history category of VI, resulting in a guideline range of 151 to 188 months. Absent the enhancement, Lewis's guideline range would have been 100 to 125 months.

         Lewis filed a sentencing memorandum objecting to the enhancement. Def.'s Sentencing Mem. (Doc. No. 19). At sentencing, both parties agreed that the probation officer's mathematical calculations of the sentencing guidelines were correct, but Lewis again objected to the application of the enhancement. After hearing argument, the Court denied Lewis's objection. Following the sentencing presentations of both parties and after consideration of all of the 18 U.S.C § 3553(a) factors, the Court applied the enhancement but varied below the guidelines and imposed a sentence of 120 months incarceration to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. This opinion sets forth the reasons for the Court's denial Lewis's objection to the career offender enhancement.

         II. Career Offender Enhancement

         Lewis challenged the recommendation that he be categorized as a career offender under the guidelines, arguing that one of his predicate convictions, aggravated assault, was not a crime of violence. Def.'s Sentencing Mem., at 1. Lewis's objection fails because his conviction for aggravated assault necessarily involved “the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another.” U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 4B1.2 (U.S. Sentencing Comm'n 2014).

         A. Legal Standard

         The federal sentencing guidelines include an enhancement for career offenders. U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 4B1.1(b) (U.S. Sentencing Comm'n 2014). Career offender status under the guidelines requires, inter alia, that the defendant has two or more predicate felony convictions that are either a crime of violence or a drug offense. Id. § 4B1.1(a). A crime of violence is any state or federal offense punishable by more than one year in prison that either:

(1) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another, or
(2) is burglary of a dwelling, arson, or extortion, involves use of explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.

Id. § 4B1.2(a).[1]

         The inquiry into whether a predicate offense is a crime of violence generally requires a categorical approach, which focuses not on the specific conduct of that offense but instead on its elements. Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243, 2251 (2016).[2] Under this approach, a court must consider “the least culpable conduct necessary to sustain conviction under the statute.” Aguilar v. Attorney Gen. of United States, 663 F.3d 692, 695 (3d Cir. 2011). One limited alternative to this categorical approach applies when a defendant has a prior conviction for a statute that is divisible, that is, when the statute “comprises multiple, alternative versions of the crime.” Descamps v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2276, 2284 (2013). In that situation, a court may look to the charging document, the plea agreement and colloquy, or to other “comparable judicial record[s]” to determine what the elements of the crime of conviction were. Shepard v. United States, 544 U.S. 13, 26 (2005). But these documents can only be used to identify the elements; the focus must remain there, rather than on the facts of the crime. Descamps, 133 S.Ct. at 2285.

         This modified approach does not apply if a statute lists different factual means of committing a single element, rather than different versions of the crime, each with their own elements. United States v. Henderson, 841 F.3d 623, 628 (3d Cir. 2016). To determine whether a list in an alternatively-phrased statute consists of elements or means, a court can look to the decisions of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.