U.S. v. Etoty A defendant who, from a Florida jail, appropriated a social security number and identity belonging to a disabled woman in Florida, has her sentence for social security fraud and aggravated identity theft increased under the sentencing guidelines’ “vulnerable victim” enhancement, in this decision from the 4th Circuit.
U.S. v. Dimache A defendant who used a gun when he ordered two bank tellers to the floor as he and another robber fled the bank gets a two-level sentence enhancement for physical restraint to facilitate escape, and the 4th Circuit upholds defendant’s 90-month sentence.
U.S. v. Spence The 4th Circuit upholds an enhanced sentence for a defendant convicted of possession of child pornography, based on his prior conviction under South Carolina common law for “assault and battery of a high aggravated nature”; the district court did not err in holding that the prior conviction qualified as a predicate offense under the sexual abuse enhancement under 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(b)(2).
U.S. v. Perez In order to enhance a defendant’s sentence for obstruction of justice based on perjury, the sentencing court must make findings to clearly establish that a defendant gave false testimony on a material matter with willful intent to deceive. Because the trial court here failed to make the necessary findings, defendant’s enhanced sentence is reversed.
U.S. v. Simmons The en banc 4th Circuit vacates a North Carolina defendant’s federal drug trafficking sentence that was enhanced because of a prior state conviction for marijuana possession, in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision from last year that casts doubt on the practice of treating minor state crimes as serious felonies.