USA v. Lorenzo Tucker, No. 09-10319 (9th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed a jury conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm where he was a felon on probation after pleading guilty to "Attempt Child Abuse and Neglect" and where his girlfriend reported to the police that he possessed a shotgun in his apartment. At issue was whether there was sufficient evidence to demonstrate that he possessed the firearm; whether the prosecutor committed misconduct during closing arguments; whether the district court erred by refusing to give his proposed "mere presence" jury instructions; whether the district court correctly calculated the sentencing guidelines; and whether the sentence he received was substantively reasonable. The court affirmed defendant's conviction and held that the government established that he knowingly possessed the shotgun, the prosecutor's comments during closing argument did not shift the burden of proof, and he was not entitled to a "mere presence" jury instruction. The court also held that the district court correctly calculated the sentencing guidelines, correctly determined that defendant's prior conviction of "Attempt Child Abuse and Neglect" was a crime of violence, and imposed a reasonable sentence.