Thursday, October 03, 2013

U.S. v. Sanchez, 2013 WL 5386980 (9/27/13) (N.M.) (unpub'd) - An enhancement for a threat of force was appropriate for an escape offense when days after the defendant left the halfway house he told his ex-girlfriend he would burn her shop down if she did not help him leave town. The enhancement was proper because escape is a continuing offense and his threat accompanied a request to help him continue his escape. The evidence of the threat was sufficiently reliable. Marshals had listened to a recording of the threat, which the defendant helpfully left on his ex-girlfriend's voice mail. It didn't matter that the recording had some how disappeared. Defense counsel had not objected to the PSR finding that the marshals verified the threat and at the sentencing hearing counsel suggested an evidentiary hearing was unnecessary based on his proffer that the defendant "left a voice mail of a threatening nature." Oops.

U.S. v. Navarro, 2013 WL 5340776 (9/25/13) (Col.) (unpub'd) - The plea agreement established the reentry defendant had been convicted of a theft offense, an aggravated felony, warranting an 8-offense-level enhancement. This was so because the defendant stipulated in the agreement that with respect to a prior trespass conviction he had admitted to entering a motor vehicle with the intent to commit a theft This is a little troubling because the 10th doesn't even mention Descamps, which could be interpreted to preclude looking beyond the element of the trespassing offense, which only required the intent to commit an unspecified "crime," not necessarily theft.

U.S. v. Miller, 2013 Wl 5313138 (9/24/13) (Okl.) (unpub'd) - Trial counsel's failure to raise an issue before the d. ct. did not constitute cause for not raising it on direct appeal for ยง 2255 purposes. That the standard of review would have been plain error doesn't excuse the procedural default. Because the defendant didn't raise ineffective assistance of appellate counsel for failing to raise the issue on appeal, the issue is defaulted.