Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Overstreet: Wife's Murder is valid basis for upward variance to 420 months

In U.S. v. Overstreet, No. 11-16031 (March 28, 2013), the Court affirmed a 420-month sentence imposed on a defendant convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), finding that the variance above the Guideline range of 180-188 months was supported by the district court’s finding, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant murdered his wife.

The Court noted the uncontradicted evidence pointing to Overstreet’s responsibility for his wife’s death. Although the murder was not connected to the offense of conviction, the district court had authority to consider it under its § 3553(a) discretion. In addition, the Court noted Overstreet’s “exceptionally violent and heinous” past criminal history, and that he committed the murder and the unlawful gun possession while on parole.