United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville
JORDAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
defendant pled guilty to the lesser included offense of
conspiring to distribute five grams or more of
methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B), and 846. His statute of conviction
subjects him to a five-year mandatory minimum sentence.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 30, 2019.
United States Probation Office has prepared and disclosed its
Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”). [Doc.
44]. The defendant objects that he is entitled to application
of the statutory safety valve, 18 U.S.C. §
3553(f), as amended by the First Step Act of 2018, Pub. L.
No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194. [Doc. 51]. The United States has
responded in opposition to the objection, and the defendant
has submitted a reply. [Docs. 53, 64].
3553(f) allows district courts to impose a sentence
“without regard to any statutory minimum sentence, if
the court finds” that a defendant has satisfied §
3553(f)'s five requirements. At issue in this case is the
first of those elements, which is that the defendant does not
(A) more than 4 criminal history points, excluding any
criminal history points resulting from a 1-point offense, as
determined under the sentencing guidelines
(B) a prior 3-point offense, as determined under the
sentencing guidelines; and
(C) a prior 2-point violent offense, as determined under the
18 U.S.C. § 3553(f)(1) (2018).
case, the specific dispute is whether the defendant has
“a prior 2-point violent offense.” The defendant
says he does not. The probation office and the prosecution
say that he does, citing a 2016 Tennessee conviction for
domestic assault. [PSR ¶ 33].
purposes of the statutory safety valve, “the term
‘violent offense' means a crime of violence, as
defined in [18 U.S.C. § 16], that is punishable by
imprisonment.” First Step Act, § 402(a); 18
U.S.S.G.§ 3553(g). Thus, a “violent offense”
is “an offense that has as an element the use,
attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against
the person or property of another.” 18 U.S.C. §
6, 2016, the defendant pled guilty to, and was sentenced to a
term of imprisonment for, committing domestic assault in
violation of § 39-13-111 of the Tennessee Code. [Doc.
51, Ex. A, p.3]. That statute provides that “[a] person
commits domestic assault who commits an assault as defined in
§ 39-13-101 against a domestic abuse victim.”
Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-111(b). In turn, §
39-13-101 of the Tennessee Code provides, A person commits
(1) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily
injury to another;
(2) Intentionally or knowingly causes another to reasonably
fear imminent bodily injury; or
(3) Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with
another and a reasonable person would regard the contact as