United States v. Jeremy Robinson, No. 21-2396 (8th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Defendant pled guilty to unlawfully possessing a firearm as a felon. He appealed the district court’s conclusion that his prior Arkansas burglary convictions were separate offenses, rendering him an armed career criminal subject to an enhanced sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”).
The Eighth Circuit affirmed. The court explained that the ACCA mandates a 15-year minimum sentence for a defendant who has been convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm as a felon following “three previous convictions by any court . . . for a violent felony . . . committed on occasions different from one another[.]” 18 U.S.C. Section 924(e)(1) In determining whether prior convictions are separate and distinct, at least three factors are relevant: “(1) the time lapse between offenses, (2) the physical distance between their occurrence, and (3) their lack of overall substantive continuity, a factor that is often demonstrated in the violent-felony context by different victims or different aggressions.” United States v. Pledge, 821 F.3d 1035.
Here, Defendant committed three residential burglaries—each on different days, in different locations, and against different victims—over an approximate three-week span. The court held that these offenses qualify as separate and distinct criminal episodes committed on occasions different from one another.