Skip to main content


Reset A A Font size: Print

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America Plaintiff - Appellee v. Ambrose Rayshawn SPIRES, also known as Ambrose Spries Defendant - Appellant

No. 20-1896

Decided: November 24, 2020

Before ERICKSON, WOLLMAN, and STRAS, Circuit Judges. Richard D. Westphal, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Des Moines, IA, Melisa K. Zaehringer, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Davenport, IA, for Plaintiff-Appellee Ambrose Rayshawn Spires, Pro Se


After considering a number of factors, the district court 1 reduced Ambrose Spires's life sentence to 360 months in prison under the First Step Act. See Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194 (2018). Though he challenges the decision on a host of grounds, we affirm.

We conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it declined to reduce Spires's sentence even further, see United States v. Harris, 960 F.3d 1103, 1106 (8th Cir. 2020) (articulating the standard of review), or when it denied his motion for reconsideration, see United States v. King, 854 F.3d 433, 443 (8th Cir. 2017) (same). Nor is a motion like this one the proper way to open a collateral attack on his original sentence. See United States v. Moore, 963 F.3d 725, 728 (8th Cir. 2020) (explaining how motions under the First Step Act are different from “original, plenary sentencing” proceedings); see also United States v. Denson, 963 F.3d 1080, 1089 (11th Cir. 2020) (refusing to entertain this type of attack).

We accordingly affirm the judgment of the district court and grant counsel permission to withdraw.


1.   The Honorable John A. Jarvey, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.


Copied to clipboard