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United States v. Lindsey

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

June 28, 2016

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
Michael Anthony Lindsey, Defendant-Appellant

          Submitted: February 12, 2016

         Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - St. Paul

          Before SHEPHERD, BEAM, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

          SHEPHERD, Circuit Judge.

         A jury convicted Michael Lindsey of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). Finding Lindsey subject to the mandatory-minimum sentence of fifteen years imprisonment under the Armed Career Criminal Act ("ACCA"), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), the district court[1] sentenced Lindsey to 262 months imprisonment. On appeal, Lindsey challenges (1) the district court's adoption of Lindsey's criminal history as set forth in the Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR") in the absence of further proof of his prior convictions; and (2) the district court's conclusion that a Minnesota second-degree assault conviction constitutes a "violent felony" for ACCA purposes. We affirm.

         I.

         The facts underlying Lindsey's conviction in the present case are not at issue on appeal, but a brief recitation provides context. In the early morning hours of April 6, 2014, Minneapolis police responded to a report of a drive-by shooting and located a vehicle matching the description of the one from which the shots were fired. Officers stopped the vehicle, identified Lindsey as the driver and only occupant, and found a semiautomatic handgun in the subsequent search of the car. Forensic testing later proved the gun found in Lindsey's car matched the gun used in the drive-by shooting.

         A grand jury indicted Lindsey on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). The Indictment specifically alleged Lindsey had previously been convicted of the following crimes in violation of Minnesota state law: Second Degree Assault in 1996, Third Degree Possession of Controlled Substance in 2002, Second Degree Assault and Terroristic Threatening in 2007, and Second Degree Assault in 2011. The Indictment further described Lindsey's previous convictions as "crimes punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, at least three of which were violent felonies or controlled substance offenses committed on occasions different from one another." Lindsey did not raise any objections in pretrial proceedings regarding the previous convictions referenced in the Indictment. At trial, Lindsey stipulated that he "had been convicted of an offense punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year, and was thus prohibited from possessing a firearm." The jury convicted Lindsey of the charged offense following a two-day trial.

         The United States Probation Office prepared a Preliminary PSR that listed the following relevant convictions in Paragraph 17: Second Degree Assault in 1996, Third Degree Controlled Substance Crime-Possession of Cocaine in 2002, Second Degree Assault and Terroristic Threatening in 2007, and Second Degree Assault in 2011. Paragraph 25 of the PSR stated in relevant part, "the defendant has at least three prior convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offense, or both, which were committed on different occasions" and concluded that Lindsey therefore qualified as an armed career criminal under the ACCA. The PSR calculated Lindsey's criminal history category to be VI and his base offense level to be 34, yielding a guideline range of 262 months to 327 months imprisonment.

         Lindsey filed timely objections pursuant to the fourteen-day deadline mandated by Minnesota Local Rule 83.10(c) and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32(f)(1). Lindsey objected in detail to Paragraph 17 of the PSR, but focused solely on the issue of the convictions' classification as ACCA predicate offenses. Lindsey's objection to Paragraph 25 stated:

This paragraph's legal conclusion that the three itemized prior convictions are all qualifying predicate convictions for ACCA status is objected to as unfounded, and Defendant reiterates the legal analysis set forth in the objections to paragraph 17 above. Defendant likewise reiterates his objection to the allegation that he possessed a firearm in connection with a crime of violence.

         Lindsey also objected to several paragraphs of the PSR regarding the adjusted offense level, arguing the adjusted offense level should be 12 "[b]ecause Defendant does not qualify as an armed career criminal." In one such objection, Lindsey asserted "[t]he proper advisory range of imprisonment is 30-37 months based on an offense level of 12 and a criminal history category of VI."

         Following objections to the Preliminary PSR, the Probation Office submitted a Final PSR to the district court which included the probation officer's response to Lindsey's objections. Later, pursuant to Minnesota Local Rule 83.10(e), the parties each submitted a document entitled "Position Regarding Sentencing." Under the local rule, this filing must:

(1) set forth the party's position with respect to both the sentencing guidelines and the sentencing factors set ...

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