Ezra Crumpet: Write a 10-page trial brief in support for the government; What Qualifies As a Structure for ACCA Enhancement?

Ezra Crumpet: Write a 10-page trial brief in support for the government; What Qualifies As a Structure for ACCA Enhancement? 150 150 Affordable Capstone Projects Written from Scratch

Below instructions is the case situation involving Ezra Crumpet. Write a 10-page trial brief in support for the government. This project requires intensive and deep analysis using legal research and writing to create a trial brief in support with pro-government arguments. This paper requires someone with legal research and writing experience and preferable a legal background for writing briefs.  Follow the “CREXAC” legal writing formula. Please research using strictly good case law, do not use bad law that has been over-turned or old law that was before the “Taylor” case.

The legal issue in this matter is: What Qualifies As a Structure for ACCA Enhancement? I suggest you start with Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575 (1990) for background and look closely at how Taylor says courts should approach the issue of whether the conviction counts as burglary for ACCA purposes. Then, you can start further case research with United States v. Stitt, 860 F.3d 854. The government’s position is: Yes, Hosmer “habitation” statute is equal and or less than to Taylors “building or other structure” statute. Please use the bluebook for legal citations. What I want to see is an explanation of how the law works, with case citations.  The goal is to persuade the reader with arguments for government and to explain why it is better than the defendant’s argument. Educate with law and persuade the reader with arguments. **Note Taylor and Stitt cases are only a start, you must dive much deeper into many other supreme court cases and circuit court of appeals cases to get a good understanding of the legal question.


You can find an example of a trial brief by (1) logging into westlaw (2) look up United States v. Stitt, 860 F.3d 854 (3) Click on “Filings” (4) Find and click on the “Brief for the United States”.



  • Organization: Understanding of rules, understanding of where rules came from, understanding of purpose of rules, understanding of hierarchy of authority and Understanding of critical cases Within context of an argument. Please note: unfavorable law must be acknowledged and explained. In short, you must understand cases and be able to discuss them beyond the facts and holding before you can create your argument.
  • Ideas to consider: Why did Court develop a “generic definition”? Why did Court choose the definition it did? How have courts interpreted Taylor? When is categorical approach used and why? When (and what is) modified categorical approach used?

 Transcript of Guilty Plea (Defendant Ezra Crumpet)

Third Judicial Circuit, Hosmer County Circuit Court

[Note that defendant Ezra Crumpet was sworn in at the beginning of the proceeding.]

Judge Jasper Schmerber:  This is a hearing in the case of State v. Ezra Crumpet, Case No. 06-CR-19-38.  Let the record reflect that Mr. Crumpet is presented and represented by his counsel, Mr. Felix Salmon.  Appearing on behalf of the State is Assistant District Attorney Ms. Keisha Johnson.

Now my understanding is that the State and Mr. Crumpet have reached a plea agreement, and we’re going to put that on the Record today.  Counselors, do I have that right?

Mr. Salmon:   Yes, Your Honor.  My client is going to plead guilty to the aggravated burglary charge under § 26-19-300.  The State has agreed to drop the stalking charge, and is recommending a three-year suspended sentence for the aggravated burglary conditioned upon my client’s successful completion of the Substance Abuse Counseling and Rehab Program, his performing two hundred hours of community service each year, and his refraining from any and all contact with Betsy Simpson.

Judge Schmerber:  Ms. Johnson, does that accurately describe the agreement the parties have reached?

Ms. Johnson:  Yes, Your Honor.  The Record should reflect that Betsy Simpson is the owner of the yurt that Mr. Crumpet burglarized, and is also Mr. Crumpet’s ex-girlfriend..

Judge Schmerber:  Thank you, Ms. Johnson.

Mr. Crumpet, I have to decide whether to accept the guilty plea offered by your attorney on your behalf.  Given that, I must ask you some questions and listen to and evaluate your answers.  If you do not hear or understand a question, tell me.  Also, you may talk with your lawyer about a question before you answer it.  Do you understand?

Mr. Crumpet:  Yes, Your Honor.

Judge Schmerber:  First, as I said, I will be asking you questions.  By answering the questions and pleading guilty, you are giving up your right to remain silent and not to incriminate yourself.  Do you understand?

Mr. Crumpet:  Yes, Your Honor.

Judge Schmerber:  Have you spoken with your lawyer about your case, about pleading guilty, and about thereby waiving your right to a trial by jury?

Mr. Crumpet:  Yes, Your Honor.

Judge Schmerber:  Are you satisfied with the services of your lawyer?

Mr. Crumpet:  Felix is the shit, man.

Judge Schmerber:  MR. CRUMPET.  Yes or no, not “Felix is the shit.”  I won’t have that in my courtroom.  Are you satisfied with the services of your lawyer?

Mr. Crumpet:  Sorry about that, Your Honor.  My bad.  Yes, I’m very satisfied with my lawyer and the work he did for me.

Judge Schmerber:  You have asked to plead guilty to aggravated burglary, a Class C felony, under Count 1 of the indictment.

Under that count, it is charged that on or about June 15, 2006, you entered a habitation, specifically a yurt belonging to Betsy Simpson, without her consent, and while in the yurt, committed a theft.  Is that true?

Mr. Crumpet:  Yes, Your Honor.

Judge Schmerber:  Now, Mr. Crumpet, I want you to get more specific with me.  I need to be satisfied that you are guilty of aggravated burglary.  So describe in your own words what you did.

[Mr. Crumpet consults with counsel.]

Mr. Crumpet:  Well, it’s like this.  Betsy and me—that’s Betsy Simpson, I mean—we had been broke up about a year, and all I could do was cry, man.  I remembered how we used to go out orienteering, and we dreamed of getting ourselves a yurt one day and putting it down by the Hosmer River and maybe smoking a little we . . .—um, well maybe having some beers—and that was our dream.

Then around May sometime I heard she had a new guy, and that she had gotten herself a yurt that she put down by the river after all.  Man, I could not stop crying.

So I guess it was June 15 I went out there—it was a little past dusk—and there was her yurt.  Nobody seemed to be around, so I went in.  I just wanted to feel close to Betsy, really, that’s it.  But there was like a cool bed in there—kind of a psychedelic hammock-y thing.  And there was a little opening at the top of the yurt where you could look up at the sky.  So next thing you know I’m in the hammock looking outa that opening, and the sky is full of stars, clear as anything.  It was a trip!

And maybe an hour or so went by.  It was dark, but I had a flash light, plus the stars made a big difference.  And I saw there was this amazing bong in the yurt.  It was, like, lined with gold or something shiny and had like this calligraphy on it that said, “May I hemp you?”  That was pretty funny.

And I thought, I gotta have that bong.  So I guess I took it.  Then I left.

Judge Schmerber:  Now, Mr. Crumpet, I have a few more questions.  What exactly is a yurt?

Mr. Crumpet:  Well, it’s kinda like a tent, but sturdier, usually bigger.  You have these sticks—like big wooden poles—that you put up in this circular pattern, then there is this canvas cover, real sturdy material, that you put on top—the poles go into openings in the canvas.  So it’s kind of like a big tepee, but the shape is just a little more circular from bottom to top.  And you can have all kinds of patterns.  The outside of Betsy’s yurt had a painting of a rainbow with a pot of gold at the end.

Judge Schmerber:  And let me get this straight.  You knew you didn’t have permission to enter Ms. Simpson’s yurt.

Mr. Crumpet:  That’s right.

Judge Schmerber:  So your entry was unlawful.  But you didn’t plan to commit any other crime at the time you broke in?

Mr. Crumpet:  I just wanted to feel close to Betsy, and then I wanted to look at the stars.  It was at least an hour before I saw that bong, and that’s when I decided to take it.

Judge Schmerber:  Thank you, Mr. Crumpet.  Ms. Johnson, this is a most unusual case.  A yurt?  Really?

Ms. Johnson:  Your Honor, the statute includes tents and the like within the definition of habitation.  A yurt qualifies.  And I think I know where you were going about the theft itself.  The statute requires an unlawful entry and then commission of or an attempt to commit a felony, theft, or assault.  The defendant needn’t intend the theft at the time of the entry itself.

Judge Schmerber:  Yes, I see.  I’m looking at the statute.

Okay, Mr. Crumpet, a few more things:

By pleading guilty, you waive the right to a trial by jury.  Do you understand that?

Mr. Crumpet:  I do.

Judge Schmerber:  At a trial by jury you are presumed to be innocent, and you are entitled to the following rights:

You have the right to be represented by your lawyer.

You have the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses presented by the State.

You have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself.

You have the right, but are not required, to call witnesses, and to testify yourself.

Finally, you have the right to require the State to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury of twelve people who must be unanimous in finding that you are guilty.

Do you understand each of those rights, and that by pleading guilty, you give up each of those rights?

Mr. Crumpet:  I do.

Judge Schmerber:  Do you understand that by pleading guilty, you give up any defense you may have to these charges?

Mr. Crumpet:  Yes, I understand, Your Honor.

Judge Schmerber:  Do you understand that a plea of guilty is the same as a verdict of guilty rendered by a jury after a trial?

Mr. Crumpet:  Yes, Your Honor.

Judge Schmerber:  And are you giving up these rights voluntarily?

Mr. Crumpet:  Yes.

Judge Schmerber:  And is your decision to plead guilty voluntary?

Mr. Crumpet:  Yes.  I think it’s in my best interest.

Judge Schmerber:  Okay, Mr. Crumpet, one final question, and let me ask directly.  Do you, therefore, plead guilty to aggravated burglary?

Mr. Crumpet:  Yes, Your Honor.

Judge Schmerber:  Let the Record reflect that I find that Mr. Crumpet’s guilty plea was knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made, and that he is, in fact, guilty of aggravated burglary under Hosmer law.

Moreover, I accept the terms of the plea agreement reached by the parties.  Formal sentencing will take place in a week.  Hearing adjourned.

  District of Hosmer Statutes:

Hosmer Code Annotated

  • 26-19-300. Aggravated burglary

(a) Aggravated burglary is burglary of a habitation as defined in §§ 26-19-200 and 22-20-210.

(b) Aggravated burglary is a Class C felony.

Comments of the Hosmer Sentencing Commission

This section defines the offense of aggravated burglary as a burglary of a habitation. The term “habitation,” defined in § 22-20-210, is broader than “building” because it includes vehicles and structures other than buildings, such as modular units, mobile homes, trailers, campers and tents that are “adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons.” “Habitation” also includes garages and other outbuildings that are “separately secured and occupied portions” of a habitation.


  • 26-19-200. Burglary

(a) A person commits burglary who, without the effective consent of the property owner:



(1) Enters a building other than a habitation (or any portion thereof) not open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft or assault;

(2) Remains concealed, with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault, in a building;

(3) Enters a building and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft or assault; or

4) Enters any freight or passenger car, automobile, truck, trailer, boat, airplane or other motor vehicle with intent to commit a felony, theft or assault or commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft or assault.

(b) As used in this section, “enter” means:

(1) Intrusion of any part of the body; or

(2) Intrusion of any object in physical contact with the body or any object controlled by remote control, electronic or otherwise.

  • 22-20-210. Definitions

As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Habitation”:

(A) Means any structure, including buildings, module units, mobile homes, trailers, and tents, which is designed or adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons;

(B) Includes a self-propelled vehicle that is designed or adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons and is actually occupied at the time of initial entry by the defendant; and

(C) Includes each separately secured or occupied portion of the structure or vehicle and each structure appurtenant to or connected with the structure or vehicle;


(2) “Occupied” means the condition of the lawful physical presence of any person at any time while the defendant is within the habitation or other building; and


(3) “Owner” means a person in lawful possession of property whether the possession is actual or constructive. “Owner” does not include a person, who is restrained from the property or habitation by a valid court order or order of protection, other than an ex parte order of protection, obtained by the person maintaining residence on the property.







Plaintiff,          )           Judge Miriam A. Shallal



                                                                        )           ORDER

  1. )


EZRA CRUMPET,                                      )


                                                Defendant       )






Defendant Ezra Crumpet pleaded guilty on July 12, 2018 to one count of Felon in Possession of Firearm and Ammunition, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).  On August 20, 2018, the United States Probation Office submitted to this Court its Presentence Investigation Report, which recommended an enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e).  The Report relied on Mr. Crumpet’s three prior state convictions:

  1. Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Hosmer Code Ann. § 24-17-106

Date of Conviction:  February 9, 2014

  1. Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Hosmer Code Ann. § 24-17-102

Date of Conviction:  July 13, 2010


  1. Aggravated Burglary, Hosmer Code Ann. § 26-19-300

Date of Conviction:  October 21, 2006


IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, within forty-five days of this Order, the parties submit to this Court briefs concerning whether Mr. Crumpet’s conviction for Aggravated Burglary under Hosmer Code Ann. § 26-19-300 qualifies as a predicate offense under the ACCA as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court in Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575 (1990).ENTERED:  August 24, 2018

Miriam A. Shallal

Hon. Miriam A. Shallal

United States District Judge