US v. Juan Caste-Lopez

Filing 920100524

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 09-4880 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. LUCAS CASTE-LOPEZ, a/k/a Hector Villasenor-Rodriguez, a/k/a Doroteo Malacara-Arango, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, at Wilmington. James C. Fox, Senior District Judge. (5:08-cr-00115-F-1) Submitted: April 1, 2010 Decided: May 24, 2010 Before TRAXLER, Chief Judge, and WILKINSON and GREGORY, Circuit Judges. Vacated and remanded by unpublished per curiam opinion. Thomas P. McNamara, Federal Public Defender, Stephen C. Gordon, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellant. George E. B. Holding, United States Attorney, Anne M. Hayes, Jennifer P. May-Parker, Assistant United States Attorneys, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Lucas Caste-Lopez appeals the district court's judgment revoking his supervised release and sentencing him to eighteen sentence months' is imprisonment. unreasonable Caste-Lopez because the argues that his plainly district court failed to consider the applicable 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) (2006) factors and make an individualized assessment based on the facts before it. We agree, and vacate the district court's order and remand for further proceedings. Because Caste-Lopez has not preserved this issue, it is subject to plain error review. Under the plain error standard, the defendant must show that an error was made, is plain, and affects the defendant's substantial rights. United States v. Massenburg, 564 F.3d 337, 342-43 (4th Cir. 2009). This court will affirm a sentence imposed after revocation of supervised release if it is within the prescribed statutory range and not plainly unreasonable. Crudup, 461 F.3d 433, 437-39 (4th Cir. 2006). determination, unreasonable. we first consider whether United States v. In making this sentence is the Id. at 438. "This initial inquiry takes a more `deferential appellate posture concerning issues of fact and the exercise of discretion' than reasonableness review for [G]uidelines sentences." United States v. Moulden, 478 F.3d 652, 656 (4th Cir. 2007) (quoting Crudup, 461 F.3d at 439). 2 The district court's discretion is not unlimited. United States v. Thompson, 595 F.3d 544, 547 (4th Cir. 2010). The district court commits the procedural sentence error and by to failing provide to an adequately explain chosen individualized assessment based on the facts. States, 552 U.S. 38, 51 (2007). "A court Gall v. United need not be as detailed or specific when imposing a revocation sentence as it must be when imposing a post-conviction sentence, but it still `must provide a statement of reasons for the sentence imposed.'" Thompson, 595 F.3d at 547 (quoting Moulden, 478 F.3d at 657). The district court procedurally erred when it failed to provide an individualized assessment of the relevant facts in imposing sentence. Other than stating that it "considered the policies and statements in revocation contained in Chapter 7 of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines," the district court provided no explanation for its eighteen-month sentence. Moreover, the court made no mention of the applicable 3553(a) factors and did not discuss Caste-Lopez's personal history, his argument in favor of a concurrent sentence, or the Government's argument in favor of a consecutive sentence. Upon finding this procedural error, our next step under Crudup is to determine whether the sentence is "plainly unreasonable," under the definition of "plain" used in plain-error analysis. Crudup, 461 F.3d at 439. 3 "For a sentence to be plainly unreasonable . . . it must run afoul of clearly settled law." Thompson, 595 F.3d at 548. district court's obligation to provide some "[T]he basis for appellate review when imposing a revocation sentence, however minimal that basis may be, has been settled in this Circuit since at least Moulden." court failed to provide any Id. Accordingly, the district for its sentence in reasons disregard of clear precedent and was thus plainly unreasonable. This error, when considered with the district court's incorrect calculation of the Guidelines Under of range, * the affected error the Caste-Lopez's standard, procedural imposed. n.4 substantial has a rights. the plain that Caste-Lopez errors had burden showing on the prejudicial effect sentence See Puckett v. United States, 129 S. Ct. 1423, 1433 Considering that the district court sentenced (2009). Caste-Lopez at the highest end of what it thought to be the Guidelines range, we conclude a non-speculative basis exists to infer prejudice that "seriously affects the fairness, integrity or public reputation of judicial proceedings." United States v. U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual, 7B1.4(a), p.s., provides a sentencing range of eight to fourteen months for a Grade B violation and a category III criminal history, rather than twelve to eighteen months, as stated by the district court. * 4 Olano, 507 U.S. 725, 736 (1993) (discussing fourth prong of plain error test). We therefore vacate Caste-Lopez's sentence and remand for further proceedings. 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. VACATED AND REMANDED 5

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