from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Tennessee at Knoxville. No.
3:15-cr-00012-1-Thomas A. Varlan, District Judge.
Michael B. Menefee, MENEFEE & BROWN, P.C., Knoxville,
Tennessee, for Appellant.
A. McLaurin, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Knoxville,
Tennessee, for Appellee.
Before: GILMAN, KETHLEDGE, and READLER, Circuit Judges
A. READLER, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
at home on a cold November morning, William Wooden heard a
knock at the door. Upon opening it, Wooden was greeted by a
man asking to speak with Wooden's wife. Wooden went to
get her. And he allowed the man to enter the home, to stay
warm while waiting for Wooden to return.
Wooden's humane gesture soon became his undoing. As from
there, things began to unravel. Wooden picked up a firearm.
The man at the door turned out to be a plainclothes police
officer. And the officer knew that Wooden was a convicted
felon who could not lawfully possess a firearm. Wooden was
thus taken into custody.
was later convicted and sentenced on a felon-in-possession
charge. On appeal, Wooden asserts two challenges to that
result. With respect to his conviction, Wooden contends that
the officer's presence in his home violated the Fourth
Amendment, meaning that much of the evidence used against him
should have been suppressed. And as to his sentence, Wooden
challenges the fifteen-year term of imprisonment imposed by
application of the Armed Career Criminal Act. Finding no
error in the district court's Fourth Amendment or
sentencing analyses, we AFFIRM the decision
with two uniformed officers, Conway Mason, an Investigator
for the Monroe County (Tennessee) Sheriff's Department,
set out early one chilly November morning to track down Ben
Harrelson, a fugitive wanted for theft. The officers had
previously seen Harrelson's vehicle parked outside the
home of William Wooden and Janet Harris. Believing Harrelson
might be hiding inside, the officers approached the home.
Mason, who was not in uniform, went to the front door, and
the two uniformed officers dispersed around the home.
knocked on the door. When Wooden answered, Mason asked to
speak with Harris. Mason also asked if he could step inside,
to stay warm. According to Mason, Wooden responded "Yes.
That's okay"-which Mason took to mean he could come
along with a second officer, entered the home. As Wooden
walked down the hallway, the officers saw him pick up a
rifle. When the officers told him to put the weapon down,
Wooden did as instructed. Mason knew Wooden was a felon,
meaning he could not possess a firearm. So the officers took
the rifle and handcuffed and searched Wooden. During the
search, the officers discovered a loaded revolver holstered
gave the officers permission to search the home. The officers
did not find Harrelson. But they did find a third weapon, a
.22 caliber rifle. After waiving his Miranda rights,
Wooden admitted that he possessed all three firearms as well
prosecutors subsequently filed an indictment charging Wooden
with being a Felon in Possession of Firearms and Ammunition,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Wooden in turn
moved to suppress the evidence discovered during the search
of his home. In his motion, Wooden argued that the officers
violated his Fourth Amendment rights by entering his home
without a warrant or his consent. The district court,
however, denied Wooden's motion on the basis that Wooden
consented to the officers' entry. At his subsequent jury
trial, Wooden was convicted as charged.
probation office prepared a presentence report in which
Wooden was classified as an armed career criminal under the
Armed Career Criminal Act (or ACCA), given that he had three
or more prior violent felony convictions. The basis for the
classification was Wooden's prior Georgia convictions: a
1989 aggravated assault, ten 1997 burglaries, and a 2005
burglary. Wooden objected to the classification. He argued
that neither the aggravated-assault nor burglary offenses
qualify as violent felonies under the ACCA. He ...