Monday, February 27, 2006

Court favors appeal

The Eight Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled in favor of the government's appeal for a re-sentencing of Manuel Earl Gatewood, who used a stolen shotgun to aggressively threaten a grocery store cashier while robbing a Camdenton, MO, store. After pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, Gatewood was sentenced to three years in federal prison -- well below the federal sentencing guidelines range of 63 to 78 months. The government appealed.

In today's appellate decision, the court remanded the case for resentencing, ruling that Gatewood's sentence was "unreasonable" because it "results in punishment that does not accurately reflect the seriousness of Gatewood’s offense conduct and does not afford adequate deterrence or protect the public from further crimes by this defendant. In addition, the sentence fails to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparity among defendants with similar criminal histories who have illegally possessed stolen firearms to commit armed robberies."

Here is the published opinion.