United States v. Steiner, No. 14-4628 (3d Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
An informant told a Pennsylvania State Trooper that Steiner, a convicted felon, was staying in a camper on the informant’s property and had a sawed-off shotgun, which Steiner called a “cop killer.” The officer obtained a search warrant and told the informant to drive Steiner to a gas station, where officers would arrest Steiner on a warrant that had issued for Steiner’s failure to appear on an unrelated sexual assault charge. Executing the warrant, police seized a shotgun and ammunition. The informant stated that he had seen missing pieces of the shotgun at Steiner's home; police obtained another warrant for that home, where they found those parts and more ammunition. Steiner was convicted as a felon-in-possession of ammunition, 18 U.S.C. 922(g), and sentenced to an 87-month prison term. The Third Circuit affirmed, upholding admission of the evidence related to the sexual assault warrant and the court’s failure to instruct the jury that it was required to reach a unanimous verdict. Following remand by the Supreme Court, for reconsideration under its 2016 decision, Mathis v. United States, concerning predicate offenses and the “categorical approach,” the Third Circuit affirmed the conviction as unaffected by Mathis, but vacated the sentence. The district court used a 1993 Pennsylvania burglary conviction as a predicate “crime of violence” under the Sentencing Guidelines, which was plain error; Steiner’s Guidelines range should not have been enhanced.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on March 3, 2016.