US v. Lighty

Filing 920070419

Opinion

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 05-4738 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, versus RICHARD LAMONT LIGHTY, a/k/a Richard Dock, a/k/a Bro, a/k/a Richard Duck, a/k/a Young, a/k/a Black, a/k/a Melvin, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, at Roanoke. Samuel G. Wilson, District Judge. (CR-04-72) Submitted: April 3, 2007 Decided: April 19, 2007 Before WILKINS, Chief Judge, and WIDENER and WILKINSON, Circuit Judges. Affirmed in part; dismissed in part by unpublished per curiam opinion. Onzlee Ware, WARE & HILL, L.L.P., Roanoke, Virginia, for Appellant. John L. Brownlee, United States Attorney, Morgan E. Scott, Jr., First Assistant United States Attorney, Georgianna Gaines, Third Year Practice Law Student, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Roanoke, Virginia, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Richard Lamont Lighty pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine base, see 21 U.S.C.A. 846 (West 1999), and two counts of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, see 18 U.S.C.A. 924(c)(1)(A) (West Supp. 2006). He now challenges his convictions and sentence. We affirm in part and dismiss in part. I. A. We first consider Lighty's claim that the district court abused its discretion when it denied his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. See United States v. Ubakanma, 215 F.3d 421, 424 (4th Cir. 2000) (stating standard of review). A defendant may withdraw a guilty plea before sentencing if he "can show a fair and just reason for requesting "[A] the withdrawal." and just' reason Fed. ... R. is Crim. one P. that 11(d)(2)(B). `fair essentially challenges ... the fairness of the Rule 11 proceeding." United States v. Lambey, 974 F.2d 1389, 1394 (4th Cir. 1992) (en banc). Having reviewed the record, we hold that Lighty failed We therefore affirm the denial of his motion to carry his burden. to withdraw his guilty plea. 2 B. Next, Lighty claims that the district court abused its discretion in denying counsel's motion to withdraw. See United States v. Johnson, 114 F.3d 435, 442 (4th Cir. 1997) (stating standard of review). In evaluating whether the trial court abused its discretion, we consider (1) the timeliness of the motion, (2) the adequacy of the court's inquiry, and (3) whether the attorneyclient conflict "was so great that it resulted in a total lack of communication preventing an adequate defense." quotation marks omitted). no abuse of discretion. Id. (internal After reviewing the record, we can find C. Turning to Lighty's challenges to his sentence, we note that as part of his plea agreement, Lighty waived the right to appeal his sentence and any findings of fact the district court made regarding drug quantity or any other guideline issue. An appeal waiver is valid if the defendant knowingly and intelligently agreed to waive his right to appeal. 162, 169 (4th Cir. 2005). Our review of the record reveals that the district court conducted an adequate Rule 11 plea colloquy. Lighty regarding the appeal waiver, and The court questioned he stated that he See United States v. Blick, 408 F.3d understood the waiver. Because Lighty presents no basis to suggest 3 that his appeal waiver was not knowingly and intelligently made, his attempts to challenge his sentence on appeal are foreclosed by the waiver provisions in his plea agreement. II. For the reasons stated above, we affirm Lighty's conviction and dismiss the portion of Lighty's appeal challenging his sentence. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED IN PART; DISMISSED IN PART 4

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