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Sentencing — firearms

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Sentencing — firearms

A 210-month sentence for brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence was not speculative or unreasonable.

“It was not speculation that Lucas wanted to kidnap CG; there were an abundance of facts supporting this finding. Lucas told others that he planned to kill CG, he paid someone $500 to learn CG’s home address, he removed the emergency-release latch from the trunk of his car so that CG would have no means of escape, he drove to CG’s home armed with an entire arsenal, and he pointed a gun at CG’s mother’s face after demanding to see CG. Certainly, these facts allowed the district court to infer that Lucas intended to do more than simply scare CG. Lucas conflates the worry of the district court that Lucas planned to kill CG with the court’s finding that Lucas attempted to kidnap CG. Some of the facts, especially those contested by Lucas at sentencing, suggested that Lucas may have planned to kill CG and bury his body in the holes Lucas prepared outside his home in Massachusetts. This thought deeply disturbed the district court, which is why it reiterated that it did not know what would have happened had CG answered the door. But the court made clear that it was not basing its sentence on this speculative possibility, stating that it was ‘almost beside the point whether [the holes in the cave near Lucas’s home] are graves.’ (Sent. Tr. at 10.) Rather, what influenced the court’s decision, and what the district court found by a preponderance of the evidence, was that Lucas attempted to kidnap CG. As we discussed above, the district court went so far as to find that Lucas completed all the steps he believed reasonably necessary to complete the underlying offense of kidnapping. The court did not rely on speculation in sentencing Lucas.”


11-1512 U.S. v. Lucas

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Conley, J., Kanne, J.

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