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United States v. Collins

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

June 11, 2014

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Christian Collins, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted March 12, 2014

Page 627

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Allison Hart Behrens, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Thomas S. Rea, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Eastern District of Missouri, Saint Louis, MO.

Christian Collins, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Terre Haute, IN.

For Christian Collins, Defendant - Appellant: Felicia Annette Jones, Assistant Federal Public Defender, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE, Saint Louis, MO.

Before WOLLMAN, MURPHY, and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 628

GRUENDER, Circuit Judge.

Christian Collins pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). The district court sentenced him to 100 months' imprisonment. Collins appeals his sentence, arguing that the district court improperly applied two enhancements under United States Sentencing Guidelines (" USSG" ) § § 3A1.2(c)(1) and 3C1.1. For the reasons discussed below, we vacate Collins's sentence and remand for resentencing.

I.

On May 29, 2012, St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers pursued a stolen vehicle in which Collins was a passenger. During the pursuit, the driver lost control and crashed the vehicle. Officers observed Collins flee on foot and ordered him to stop. After a short pursuit, Collins was apprehended and placed in custody. The officers transported Collins to the police station.

Officers at the scene of the crash located and seized a loaded firearm in a nearby flowerpot. At the police station, Collins said he wanted to make a statement regarding the firearm. Collins was placed in an interview room, where his right leg was shackled to the floor. Collins orally confessed to Detective David Rudolph that he had been in possession of the firearm. Collins then provided a written statement, describing how he had found the weapon in the vehicle and " stashed" it in the flowerpot. After Collins finished writing the statement, Detective Rudolph signed it and asked Collins to sign it. As Collins was about to do so, Detective Rudolph told Collins that he needed to be honest about how long he had possessed the firearm because officers would be tracing it to determine whether it had been used in other crimes. At this point, Collins's demeanor changed, and he said that the statement " is going to put me in jail, and let's throw it away." Collins then grabbed the statement, put it behind his back, and tried to destroy it. Detective Rudolph told Collins to give him the statement because it was going to be seized as evidence. When Detective Rudolph attempted to retrieve the statement, Collins stood up, grabbed the pen off of the table, and twice tried to stab Detective Rudolph in the face with the pen. Detective Rudolph punched ...


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