US v. Tamar Baldwin

Filing 920091016

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 08-5226 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff Appellee, v. TAMAR BALDWIN, a/k/a James Baldwin, Defendant Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. Andre M. Davis, District Judge. (1:08cr-00117-AMD-2) Submitted: September 30, 2009 Decided: October 16, 2009 Before KING and GREGORY, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Michael D. Montemarano, MICHAEL D. MONTEMARANO, P.A., Elkridge, Maryland, for Appellant. Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney, Bonnie S. Greenberg, Assistant United States Attorney, Nick Lyon, Third Year Law Student, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Tamar Baldwin pled guilty to bank robbery, 18 U.S.C. 2113(a), (d) (2006) (Count One), and use of a firearm during a crime of violence, 18 U.S.C. 924(c), 2 (2006) (Count Two). The district court sentenced him as a career offender, U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual 4B1.1 (2008), to a term of 156 months imprisonment for the bank robbery and a consecutive seven-year sentence for aiding and abetting his co-defendant's brandishing of a firearm Baldwin during the robbery. sentence, 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A)(ii). appeals his contending that (1) the district court erred in giving him an enhanced sentence for the 924(c) offense based on his co-defendant's brandishing of a firearm, (2) he was not a career offender, and (3) the sentence was unreasonable. We affirm. Baldwin stipulated as part of his plea agreement that he and co-defendant Chi Antonio Ray robbed a bank in Reiserstown, Maryland. and Ray carried a gun. ordered the tellers Baldwin carried a crowbar into the bank Baldwin remained at the door while Ray customers to the floor, ordered two and tellers to open cash drawers at gunpoint and took money, then returned to the first teller, kicked him in the head, and ordered him to get more money. A third cash drawer was opened and Ray obtained money from it, after which he and Baldwin left the bank and were apprehended a short time later. 2 In the presentence report, the probation officer recommended that Baldwin qualified for sentencing as a career offender because he had prior convictions for a drug offense and second degree assault. The probation officer also recommended a seven-year sentence under 924(c)(1)(A)(ii), which applies if a firearm was brandished during and in relation to a crime of violence. Baldwin objected to the seven-year sentence for brandishing, alleging that he had not admitted participating in or condoning Ray's brandishing. Maryland assault conviction He also objected that his prior was categorically a crime of violence and thus not a predicate for career offender status. At sentencing, the district court overruled both objections. The court determined that Baldwin was a career offender, but imposed a sentence below the career offender guideline range, to be followed by a consecutive eighty-four-month sentence for the 924(c) conviction. On sentence for appeal, Baldwin first "To be challenges liable for the enhanced and brandishing. aiding abetting, a defendant must (1) willfully associate himself with the criminal venture, and (2) seek to make the venture succeed through some action of his own." United States v. Bowen, 527 F.3d 1065, 1078 (10th Cir. 2008); see also United States v. Wilson, 135 F.3d 291, 305 (4th Cir. 1998) (aiding and abetting in 924(c) context does not require 3 participation in every stage of crime, only knowing participation at some stage and intent to achieve common goal). Most circuits require that the defendant "intentionally facilitate or encourage another's use of a gun," but "[l]ittle is required to satisfy the element of facilitation." Circuit Bowen, 527 F.3d at 1079 (noting that the Tenth only that the aider and abettor know of requires another's use of a gun in a crime of violence and knowingly and actively participate in the crime) (citations omitted). Baldwin does not dispute that he aided and abetted the bank robbery and knew a firearm would be "used," but he contends that "there was no evidence either that [he] knew the firearm would be brandished, or that he condoned the brandishing when it took place." He seeks support from the Supreme Court's discussion, in Dean v. United States, 129 S. Ct. 1849, 1853-54 (2009), of the requirement in 924(c)(4) that "[t]he defendant must have intended which to brandish Court requires the firearm" for from of a specific purpose, the which distinguished no proof subsection for an (c)(1)(A)(iii), intent enhanced sentence when a firearm is discharged in the course of a violent or drug trafficking crime. Dean does not advance Baldwin's argument. As defined in 924(c)(4), to "brandish" a firearm means "to display all or part of the firearm, or otherwise make the presence of the firearm known to another person, in order to 4 Id. at 1856. However, intimidate that person, regardless of whether the firearm is directly visible to that person." Brandishing a firearm is one type of active use of a firearm, Wilson, 135 F.3d at 304, and is arguably the most obvious and likely use to be anticipated in an armed robbery. Baldwin stood guard at the door of the bank, armed with a crowbar, while Ray obtained money by brandishing a gun, presumably in full view of Baldwin, and then left with Ray and the proceeds of the robbery. We conclude that the evidence was sufficient for the district court to determine that Baldwin intentionally firearm, and aided that and abetted was Ray's subject brandishing to a of the Baldwin consecutive seven-year sentence for the 924(c) conviction. Next, Baldwin contests his career offender status. A defendant is a career offender if he was at least eighteen years old when the instant offense was committed, the instant offense is a felony and is either a crime of violence or a drug offense, and he has at least two prior felony convictions for crimes of violence or drug offenses. violence" is any for a federal term See USSG 4B1.1. or state one offense year A "crime of punishable "has as by an imprisonment exceeding that element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another, or . . . involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another." USSG 4B1.2(a). In deciding whether convictions 5 constitute employ a crimes of violence, approach." the sentencing Taylor v. court United should States, "categorical 495 U.S. 575, 600 (1990); United States v. Kirksey, 138 F.3d 120, 124 (4th Cir. 1998). Under this approach, the court may look only to the fact of conviction and the statutory definition of the prior offense. Taylor, 495 U.S. at 602. However, in a limited number of cases, such as this one, where the definition of the predicate crime is ambiguous because it describes both violent and non-violent offenses, the sentencing court may "examine the facts contained in the charging document on which the defendant was convicted[,]" with the aim "that we focus only on the facts necessarily decided by the prior conviction." Kirksey, 138 F.3d at 124-25. In addition, the sentencing court may consider other items from the record of a prior conviction, such as "a bench-trial judge's formal rulings of law and findings of fact, and in pleaded cases . . . the statement of factual basis for the charge," but may not consider any items from the prior record that were not conclusively validated in the earlier proceeding. United States, 544 U.S. 13, 20-23 (2005). In Maryland, the common law crime Shepard v. of assault encompasses "the crimes of assault, battery, and assault and battery, which retain their judicially determined meanings." Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law 3-201(b) (LexisNexis Supp. 2008). 6 Maryland case law defines assault as "an attempted battery or an intentional placing of a victim in reasonable apprehension of an imminent battery. used against a A battery . . . includes any unlawful force person of another, no matter how slight." Further, "[t]he common law offense of battery thus embraces a wide range of conduct, including kissing without consent, touching or tapping, jostling, and throwing water upon another." Kirksey, 138 F.3d at 125 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). definition unclear Thus, of we observed and say of in Kirksey in that, "under it the the the the assault we the can battery Maryland, that remains conduct use of whether in categorically battery of encompassed physical crime constitutes another Id. to force against the person degree required to constitute a crime of violence." In this case, the court properly considered the charging document. Baldwin argues that, because the government failed to produce the bench-trial judge's factual findings and legal rulings, the government failed to prove that he was actually convicted of the violent assault charged when he could conceivably have been convicted of a non-violent assault if the evidence was insufficient to prove the charged violent assault. He also contends that the district court improperly considered the statement of probable cause because it was not "linked to [the statement of charges] by any language demonstrating such 7 relation or incorporation[.]" The latter claim is baseless. * The statement of facts states, "Upon the facts contained in the application of Joseph, Burl it is formally charged that . . . ." The statement of probable cause contains Officer Joseph's description of Baldwin's offense. Both were filed on the same day in the Baltimore County district court and have the same case number. These facts establish that the statement of probable cause was incorporated into the charging document, and was properly considered by the district court. F.3d at 126. With respect to the adequacy of the proof of a violent assault, we have held, post-Shepard, that, in a case where the defendant did not plead guilty and the state statute proscribes both violent and non-violent conduct, the district court may look to jury instructions or the charging documents to determine whether a prior conviction was for a crime of violence. See, Kirksey, 138 e.g., United States v. Roseboro, 551 F.3d 226, 230 n.3 (4th Cir. 2009); United States v. Diaz-Ibarra, 522 F.3d 343, 348 (4th Cir. 2008). district Baldwin was convicted in a bench trial; therefore, the court acted properly in consulting the charging Baldwin acknowledges that he did not object to consideration of the statement of probable cause on this ground, only on relevance grounds. * 8 document and determining from it that Baldwin was convicted of a violent assault. As support for his argument that the charging document was inadequate under Shepard, Baldwin relies on In re Sealed Case, 548 F.3d 1085 (D.C. Cir. 2008), which held that a guilty plea to a District of Columbia robbery charge was insufficient to establish a prior crime of violence because the statute could have been violated by mere snatching. Id. at 1089-93; see also United States v. Ventura, 565 F.3d 870 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (holding prior guilty plea to Virginia felonious abduction insufficient to establish crime of violence on similar grounds). However, in both In re Sealed Case and Ventura, the charging document did not incorporate a statement of facts, as it did in Baldwin's case. 878. Last, unreasonable. Baldwin argues that his sentence was In re Sealed Case, 548 F.3d at 1090; Ventura, 565 F.3d at We review a sentence for reasonableness under an Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. This review requires abuse of discretion standard. 38, ___, 128 S. Ct. 586, 597 (2007). appellate consideration of both the procedural and substantive reasonableness of a sentence. Id. After determining whether the district court properly calculated the defendant's advisory guidelines range, this court must consider whether the district court considered the 18 U.S.C. 9 3553(a) (2006) factors, analyzed any arguments presented by the parties, and sufficiently explained the selected sentence. Id. at 596-97; see United States v. Carter, 564 F.3d 325, 330 (4th Cir. 2009). Finally, sentence, we review the into substantive account reasonableness the totality of of the the "taking circumstances, including the extent of any variance from the Guidelines range." United States v. Pauley, 511 F.3d 468, 473 (4th Cir. 2007) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Applying these standards, we have thoroughly reviewed the record on appeal and conclude that the sentence was reasonable. We district facts therefore We affirm the with are and sentence oral imposed by the the the the court. legal before dispense argument because in aid and contentions the court adequately argument presented not materials would decisional process. AFFIRMED 10

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