In U.S. v. Marrero, No. 11-2351 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8386, Defendant Ricardo Marrero appealed his judgment of sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of bank robbery. Marrero claimed the District Court erred in classifying him as a "career offender" under § 4B1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, arguing that under Pennsylvania law neither his prior third-degree murder nor his simple assault conviction qualified as a crime of violence because "a conviction for mere recklessness cannot constitute a crime of violence." The “career offender” designation resulted in a final Guidelines range of 151 to 188 months' imprisonment. Had Defendant Marrero not been deemed a career offender, his Guidelines range would have been 57 to 71 months.
The appellate court held that the district court properly examined defendant's simple assault plea colloquy transcript to determine that defendant's conviction was for intentional (or, at the very least, knowing) simple assault. Defendant had admitted to placing his hands around his wife's neck and attempting to pull her up a flight of stairs. This constituted intent to cause bodily injury, which qualified as a crime of violence.
The Court found that whether defendant's third-degree murder conviction also qualified as a crime of violence depended on the enumeration of "murder" in U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 4B1.2 application n. 1. Applying a Taylor analysis, the court determined that it was. Because defendant's prior third-degree murder and simple assault convictions both qualified as "crimes of violence" under § 4B1.2, he was properly designated a career offender under § 4B1.1. Thus, his Guidelines range was properly calculated.
The appellate court affirmed defendant's sentence.