United States v. Castleman, No. 10-5912 (6th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
In 2001, Castleman pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault (TN Code 39-13-111(b) under an indictment that asserted that he “did intentionally or knowingly cause bodily injury to [the mother of his child].” Seven years later, federal agents discovered that Castleman and his wife were buying firearms from dealers and selling them on the black market. Under the scheme, Castleman’s wife purchased firearms, allegedly lied on federal firearms paperwork by stating that she was the actual buyer of the firearms, and turned the firearms over to her husband, who was legally prohibited from purchasing firearms because of his domestic assault conviction. Castleman was charged with two counts of possession of a firearm after being convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9). The district court dismissed those counts, reasoning that Castleman’s misdemeanor domestic assault conviction did not qualify as a domestic violence crime requiring the “use or attempted use of physical force.” The Sixth Circuit affirmed. The Tennessee assault statute does not define “serious bodily injury” to require any particular degree of contact.