A ruling by the 4th Circuit means a third sentencing for a Roanoke County man convicted of possessing a gun as a felon.
According to The Roanoke Times, Michael Ray Thornton was convicted in 2005 of being a felon in possession of a gun and body armor, and sentenced to 17 years, 15 of which were mandatory under a career armed criminal designation.
In 2007, the 4th Circuit Court remanded the case to U.S. District Judge James Turk to determine if Thornton’s prior convictions of sex offenses and violence stemmed from the same incident. Turk found they should not be counted separately, but reimposed the 17-year sentence.
Thornton’s most recent appeal challenged whether one of his sex offenses should count as a violent crime for the career criminal designation. The 4th Circuit Court ruled that it should not.
The date for Thornton’s next sentencing hearing has not been set.
Posted by Sarah Rodriguez