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Burglaries Were on ‘Separate’ Occasions

A district court did not err in determin­ing that during a two-day crime spree, defendant committed two separate bur­glaries on different occasions, making de­fendant eligible for an enhanced sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act; the 4th Circuit affirms defendant’s sen­tence of 235 months.

After defendant pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, he ob­jected to a presentence report classifying him as eligible for sentencing under the ACCA, based on his criminal record. He argued that two of the three burglaries noted in the PSR occurred on the same occasion and thus both could not be used to support the ACCA enhancement. The parties submitted the state court records from the two burglary convictions to sup­port their respective arguments. These records included the indictments, the plea transcript, the judgment and an ac­companying restitution worksheet.

Although defendant concedes the bur­glaries at issue involved different vic­tims, he argues the close proximity of the two houses prevented him from making a conscious and knowing decision to en­gage in the second burglary.

We cannot accept this view. It is undis­puted that the indictments show that the burglaries occurred at two distinct street addresses, which means that they oc­curred at different geographic locations. Although the two houses may stand only 30 feet apart, we agree with the district court that this distance gave defendant a sufficient opportunity to evaluate wheth­er to commit another crime. Further, de­fendant concedes that the victims were separately victimized by the two burglar­ies.

We cannot accept defendant’s invita­tion to turn a blind eye to the separate nature of his burglaries and thereby effectively rule that two crimes are no worse than one.

U.S. v. Linney (Wilkinson) No. 14-4847, April 26, 2016; USDC at Statesville, N.C. (Voorhees) Chiege O.K. Okwara for ap­pellant; Amy E. Ray, AUSA, for appellee. VLW 016-2-071, 16 pp.

VLW 016-2-071

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