USA v. Jerome Kindle, 05-2741. Kindle appeals the district courts finding that he is a career offender and that burglary is a crime of violence. "Career offender" and "Crime of Violence" are findings of law and are reviewed de novo by the 7th Circuit.
Here, Kindle admits that his burglary is to a residence in his plea agreement. At sentencing, Kindle tries to change the burglary to a theft apparently realizing that burglary is a crime of violence and that he is now a career offender. Because of Kindle’s admission in his plea agreement, the admission controls.
Burglary of a dwelling is specifically named as a crime of violence in USSG 4B1.2. As such, as a matter of law, the career offender designation is correct.
USA v. Presse Mathews, 05-1665. Mathews plead guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Felon. Mathews is found to be a Armed Career Criminal pursuant to 18 USC 924(e)(1). This statute requires a 15 year mandatory minimum for a defendant with three prior violent felonies.
The district court uses Mathews’ Illinois conviction for unlawful possession of a knife, 720 ILCS 5/24-1.1, as one of the qualifying violent felonies. The 7th Circuit finds that this is a violent felony. Under Illinois law, possession of a knife requires intent to use the knife to be illegal. Given the inherent risk of injury that accompanies the intent to use a knife illegally, the 7th Circuit finds that this is a violent felony.