United States Ninth Circuit

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US v. Marcia-Acosta, 13-10475

Defendant was convicted of unlawful reentry into the United States, and the district court determined, using the modified categorical approach, that defendant's prior state conviction for aggravated assault, in violation of Arizona Revised Statutes sections 13-1203 and 13-1204, was a "crime of violence." The district court then applied the U.S.S.G. section 2L1.2(b)(1)(A)(ii) 16-level sentencing enhancement and imposed a 77-month sentence in prison. The sentence is vacated and remanded for resentencing, where: 1) the district court's application of the modified categorical approach contravened the principles underlying Descamps v. US because the district court, in concluding that defendant had pled to the generic elements of aggravated assault, relied solely upon a statement by defense counsel, during the state court plea colloquy, concerning the factual basis for defendant's plea; and 2) a sentencing court may not rely on an extraneous factual-basis statement details, standing alone, to supply the narrowing for purposes of the modified categorical approach.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 03/23/2015
  • Published 03/23/2015


  • Berzon


  • United States Ninth Circuit