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United States v. Leonard

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 7, 2015

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Michael Leonard, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted January 12, 2015.

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

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Erin Granger, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Robert F. Livergood, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri, Saint Louis, MO.

Michael Leonard, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Pollock, LA.

For Michael Leonard, Defendant - Appellant: Lucille Gardner Liggett, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Federal Public Defender's Office, Saint Louis, MO.

Before RILEY, Chief Judge, COLLOTON and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 304

PER CURIAM.

Michael Leonard pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(2). The district court[1] sentenced Leonard to 240 months' imprisonment. Leonard appeals his sentence. Having jurisdiction to consider this appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm.

I. Background

Leonard started drinking and using drugs as a teenager and has eight prior convictions related to drugs and alcohol. In March of 2002, when he was 26 years old, Leonard was in a car accident while driving drunk. In May of 2003, he was again in a car accident while driving drunk. Leonard contends he sustained a traumatic brain injury from these accidents, though he has never received treatment for such an injury. Leonard continued to abuse drugs and alcohol after his accidents.

Page 305

In 2006, after both car accidents, Leonard began downloading child pornography and engaging in sexual contact with children. He admitted to molesting and raping a 13-year-old girl; and he allegedly molested another girl for approximately four years, beginning when she was 9 or 10 years old. At the time of Leonard's federal sentencing on the pornography offense, a charge was pending against him for allegedly molesting a 4-year-old boy.

In June of 2013, Leonard was indicted for receiving child pornography. He pleaded guilty, and at sentencing the district court determined Leonard's total offense level was 38 and his criminal history category was III. His advisory Guidelines range was 292 to 365 months, but the statutory maximum sentence for his offense was 240 months pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(b), which resulted in a Guideline sentence of 240 months. See U.S.S.G. § 5G1.1(a). Leonard asked for a variance, but the court denied the ...


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