U.S. v. Verwiebe, No. 16-2591 (SUTTON, Clay, Rogers).

U.S. v. Verwiebe, No. 16-2591 (SUTTON, Clay, Rogers).

The defendant pleaded guilty to assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon and was sentenced as a career offender under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines § 4B1.1 based on the defendant’s prior convictions for assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm (pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(3)) and assault resulting in serious bodily injury (pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(6)). The issue on appeal was whether each crime constituted a “crime of violence” for purposes of the career offender Guideline.

The Sixth Circuit held that each was a crime of violence, and affirmed the sentence. As for § 113(a)(3) assault, the Court reasoned that simple assault already involves some use or threat of physical force, so the use of a dangerous weapon transforms the force into the type of violent force necessary to constitute a crime of violence. As for § 113(a)(6) assault, the Court relied on Circuit precedent in holding that crimes requiring proof of serious physical injury necessarily require proof of violent physical force.