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US v. Steward, No. 08-2666

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By FindLaw Staff on March 17, 2010 12:48 PM

US v. Steward, No. 08-2666, involved the government's appeal of defendant's drug conspiracy sentence.  The Eighth Circuit affirmed the sentence, on the ground that defendant's prior Iowa conviction for operating a vehicle without the owner's consent did not qualify as a "crime of violence" under U.S.S.G. section 4B1.2(a).

As the court wrote:  "Williams and Mureta-Espinosa are likewise controlling in the present case. Although Williams involved § 2K2.1 and Mureta-Espinosa involved section 2L1.2, not section 4B1.2(a), we explained in Williams that "[t]he commentary to both section 2K2.1 and section 4B1.1 refer to section 4B1.2(a), which provides a definition of a 'crime of violence' that is virtually identical to the definition of a 'violent felony' in the Armed Career Criminal Act." 537 F.3d at 971. Furthermore, we stated that "[i]n construing whether auto theft and auto tampering are crimes of violence, we look at what is commonly referred to as the 'otherwise' clause of 18 U.S.C. section 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) or U.S.S.G. section 4B1.2(a)(2)." Id. at 972. Therefore, we hold that the Iowa offense of OVWOC is not a "crime of violence" for purposes of section 4B1.2(a)."

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