Friday, February 08, 2019

District Court Allowed to Consider Acquitted Conduct At Sentencing

US v. Sadler, 2018 WL 4181734 (10th Cir. 8/30/18) (unpublished): No certificate of appealability for this 2255 movant. The defendant assaulted his girlfriend while he possessed a firearm. He was charged with various state offenses and with felon in possession of a firearm in federal court. He received a sentence of 120 months on the federal charge. In state court, he was ultimately convicted only of aggravated assault. The Tenth Circuit rejects all his arguments: 1) the district court properly refused to take judicial notice of testimony from the state trial under FRE 201(b). 2) Defendant's counsel was not ineffective merely because he was facing disciplinary action at the time of defendant's federal trial and was disbarred after defendant's federal sentencing. Defendant fails to point to any deficient performance by his trial counsel. 3) Defendant was not entitled to resentencing. The district court had enhanced his sentence under the guidelines for the kidnapping, and he was later acquitted of that charge. However, the district court could properly consider acquitted conduct at sentencing.