US v. William Cox


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 4:08-cr-00878-TLW-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [998431284] [09-5216]

Download PDF
US v. William Cox Doc. 0 Case: 09-5216 Document: 34 Date Filed: 09/23/2010 Page: 1 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 09-5216 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. WILLIAM ROY COX, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Florence. Terry L. Wooten, District Judge. (4:08-cr-00878-TLW-1) Submitted: September 9, 2010 Decided: September 23, 2010 Before KING, DUNCAN, and AGEE, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Kathy Price Elmore, ORR ELMORE & ERVIN, LLC, Florence, South Carolina, for Appellant. William N. Nettles, United States Attorney, Columbia, South Carolina; A. Bradley Parham, Assistant United States Attorney, Florence, South Carolina; Lanny A. Breuer, Assistant Attorney General, Greg D. Andres, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Thomas E. Booth, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Case: 09-5216 Document: 34 Date Filed: 09/23/2010 Page: 2 PER CURIAM: Pursuant to the terms of his written plea agreement, William Roy Cox pled guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1951(a) (2006). contained a stipulation, through sentencing which pursuant the to The plea agreement Fed. R. Crim. that P. the 11(c)(1)(C), appropriate imprisonment. parties was 120 agreed to 130 range months' At sentencing, the district court rejected the stipulation, but granted the Government's motion for a downward departure based on Cox's substantial assistance. See U.S. The Sentencing Guidelines Manual ("USSG") 5K1.1, p.s. (2008). district reduction. court ruled that it would but award with a the three-level departure, The Without the stipulation Cox's sentencing range was 120 to 150 months' imprisonment. court continued the hearing to allow Cox to consider whether to withdraw his guilty plea. Cox plea. ultimately elected not to withdraw his guilty When sentencing reconvened, the district court denied defense counsel's motion for a downward departure pursuant to USSG 4A1.3(b)(1), p.s., or USSG 5K2.0, p.s. argued citing in favor of a sentence mental below Cox's and Counsel next range, abuse Guidelines substance Cox's significant health issues; his difficult childhood; and the nature of the offense conduct. The district court 2 rejected these arguments and Case: 09-5216 Document: 34 Date Filed: 09/23/2010 Page: 3 sentenced Cox to 144 months' imprisonment. followed. This appeal timely On appeal, Cox asserts his sentence is procedurally unreasonable analyze the because the district court failed set to adequately in 18 statutory sentencing factors forth U.S.C. 3553(a) (2006) and explain the reasons for selecting this particular sentence. Because counsel relied on several of the 3553(a) sentencing factors to support her request for a sentence below Cox's Guidelines range, this issue is preserved for appellate review. 578 (4th Cir. 2010). See United States v. Lynn, 592 F.3d 572, Accordingly, this court will review the adequacy of the district court's analysis and explanation for an abuse of discretion, and any error will in turn be reviewed for harmlessness. Id. at 576. We review a sentence for reasonableness, applying an abuse of discretion standard. Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 51 (2007); see also United States v. Llamas, 599 F.3d 381, 387 (4th Cir. of of a 2010). both This the review procedural Gall, 552 requires and U.S. appellate substantive at 51. In consideration reasonableness sentence. determining procedural reasonableness, we consider whether the district court properly calculated the defendant's advisory Guidelines range, considered the 3553(a) factors, analyzed any arguments presented by the parties, and sufficiently explained 3 Case: 09-5216 Document: 34 Date Filed: 09/23/2010 Page: 4 the selected sentence. Id. "Regardless of whether the district court imposes an above, below, or within-Guidelines sentence, it must place on the record an individualized assessment based on the particular facts of the case before it." United States v. Carter, 564 F.3d 325, 330 (4th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). If the court finds "no significant procedural error," it next assesses the substantive reasonableness of the sentence, taking "`into account the totality of the circumstances, including the extent of any variance from the Guidelines range.'" United States v. Morace, 594 F.3d 340, 346- 47 (4th Cir.) (quoting Gall, 552 U.S. at 51), petition for cert. filed, __ U.S.L.W. __ (U.S. July 16, 2010) (No. 09-4007). We have thoroughly reviewed the record and conclude Cox's claim of Carter error lacks merit. The district court addressed all aspects of counsel's argument in favor of a belowGuidelines sentence. Although the court gave Cox's mental health issues and difficult childhood detailed consideration, it ultimately concluded those factors were eclipsed by Cox's The extensive criminal history and the severity of his conduct. court's recommendation that Cox receive mental health and drug abuse evaluations upon his incarceration further evidences its consideration of these issues. The court also adequately considered counsel's arguments pertaining to the nature of the offense conduct and 4 Case: 09-5216 Document: 34 Date Filed: 09/23/2010 Page: 5 Cox's criminal history. guilty further continued to robbery, that engage This The court emphasized that Cox pleaded is had a violent offense. other The court and of and and which Cox in noted to committed robberies periods criminal conduct despite court after incarceration. supervision, recidivism, district incarceration concern," caused the "great properly influenced the determination of Cox's sentence. This court has explained that the sentencing court "`must state in open court the particular reasons supporting its chosen sentence.'" 3553(c)). Carter, 564 F.3d at 328 (quoting 18 U.S.C. An extensive explanation is not required as long as the appellate court is satisfied "`that [the district court] has considered the parties' arguments and has a reasoned basis for exercising [its] own legal decisionmaking authority.'" United States v. Engle, 592 F.3d 495, 500 (4th Cir.) (quoting Rita v. United States, 551 U.S. for 338, 356 filed, (2007)) 78 (alterations 3764 in original), petition cert. U.S.L.W. (U.S. June 10, 2010) (No. 09-1512). court did so in this case. We are confident the district Finally, Cox contends the court failed to address his argument that he was being repeatedly punished for the same criminal conduct. The robbery to which Cox pled guilty also formed the basis for the revocation of his supervised release, for which he was sentenced to 5 time served. Cox served Case: 09-5216 Document: 34 Date Filed: 09/23/2010 Page: 6 approximately eleven months in prison in conjunction with that revocation. Cox maintains the district court should have factored this into its determination of his sentence for the substantive offense. However, Cox's incarceration for his supervised See Cox release violation is a separate and distinct punishment. United States v. Evans, 159 F.3d 908, 913 (4th Cir. 1998). has pointed us to no controlling authority that would mandate the district court to account for that sentence when imposing sentence on the substantive offense, and we have found none. Moreover, the fact that this conduct also constituted a violation of the terms of Cox's supervised release was properly considered in conjunction with the calculation of Cox's criminal history category. For See USSG 4A1.1(d). reasons, we conclude the district court these satisfied its obligation under Gall and Carter to evaluate the 3553(a) sentencing factors, consider the parties' arguments, and explain the sentence it selected for this particular We dispense defendant. Accordingly, we affirm Cox's sentence. 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 6

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?