United States v. Mukes, No. 20-5134 (6th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Mukes was arrested after a dispute with his girlfriend, Davis. He pled guilty as a felon in possession of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1). Davis claimed that Mukes had fired the gun into the air four times. Mukes denied ever firing or threatening Davis. Officers had observed Mukes walking away, holding a handgun, and told Mukes to drop the gun. Mukes fled and was quickly caught. Officers recovered the loaded handgun. The arrest record stated that Mukes threw the weapon while fleeing. The affidavit of complaint stated that Mukes dropped the firearm before he ran. Mukes insisted that he dropped the gun in response to police commands before running. The PSR stated that Mukes dropped the firearm after he ran and recommended a four-point enhancement for using a firearm in connection with another felony offense, “Reckless Endangerment-Deadly Weapon,” and a two-point enhancement for recklessly creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person while fleeing from a law officer. Mukes argued that he should not be penalized for contesting the enhancements when he accepted responsibility for the crime.
The district court applied both enhancements, declined to grant Mukes a reduction for acceptance of responsibility, and sentenced Mukes to the statutory maximum, 120 months' imprisonment. The Sixth Circuit vacated. The government failed to demonstrate that either enhancement was applicable; on remand, the court should consider whether Mukes may receive the two-point reduction for acceptance of responsibility.