968 F.2d 703 (8th Cir. 1992), 91-3351, United States v. Cornelius

Docket Nº:91-3351.
Citation:968 F.2d 703
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Douglas Greg CORNELIUS, Appellant.
Case Date:July 02, 1992
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 703

968 F.2d 703 (8th Cir. 1992)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,

v.

Douglas Greg CORNELIUS, Appellant.

No. 91-3351.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

July 2, 1992

Submitted May 14, 1992.

Page 704

Dean Stowers, Des Moines, Iowa, argued, for appellant.

Linda R. Reade, Des Moines, Iowa, argued, for appellee.

Before McMILLIAN, JOHN R. GIBSON, and MAGILL, Circuit Judges.

MAGILL, Circuit Judge.

Douglas Greg Cornelius appeals his thirty-year sentence imposed pursuant to the enhancement provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) (armed career criminal) and the United States Sentencing Guidelines § 4B1.1 (career offender). The district court imposed the thirty-year sentence on remand, believing that it was foreclosed from addressing any issue other than the proper sentence term. We affirm in part, reverse in part and remand for resentencing.

Cornelius was tried and convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm on April 5, 1990. The government argued that Cornelius' sentence should be enhanced because he is an armed career criminal under § 924(e) and a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1. The district court found that Cornelius is a career offender. It held, however, that he is not an armed career criminal because the 1970 breaking and entering conviction on which the government relied did not qualify as a predicate felony under the statute. The court sentenced Cornelius to ten years' imprisonment. Cornelius appealed the district court's finding that he is a career offender, arguing that possession of a firearm by a felon is not a crime of violence under § 4B1.1. We found that possession of a firearm by a felon was a crime of violence under § 4B1.1 and affirmed the district court. 1 United States v. Cornelius, 931 F.2d 490 (8th Cir.1991). The government cross-appealed the finding that Cornelius was not an armed career criminal. We reversed and remanded for resentencing on this issue because we held that Cornelius' 1970 breaking and entering conviction qualified as a predicate felony under § 924(e). Id.

At the resentencing hearing held October 3, 1991, Cornelius argued that one of the prior convictions relied on to enhance his sentence under § 924(e) was based on an invalid guilty plea and could not be used. Therefore, he argued, he is not an armed career criminal. In addition, Cornelius asserted that two prior convictions for arson and extortion are "related cases" under the Sentencing Guidelines and cannot be considered separate convictions for purposes of applying U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1 because they were consolidated for plea and sentencing. The district court allowed Cornelius to make an offer of proof, but held that, given this court's finding that Cornelius is an armed career criminal as well as a career offender, it could only decide the proper sentence term on remand. In the alternative, the court held that the arson and extortion cases were not "related cases" under the Guidelines. The court found

Page 705

that the Guidelines range was thirty years to life, and sentenced Cornelius to thirty years.

On appeal, Cornelius argues that the district court erred in finding that it could not consider any...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP