US v. Mark S. Manuel


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 3:13-cr-00479-CMC-2. Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [999660985]. Mailed to: Mark Manuel and James Dew. [14-4560, 14-4561]

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Appeal: 14-4560 Doc: 34 Filed: 09/16/2015 Pg: 1 of 5 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 14-4560 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. MARK SHANNON MANUEL, Defendant – Appellant. No. 14-4561 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. JAMES CHAPPELL DEW, Defendant - Appellant. Appeals from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Columbia. Cameron McGowan Currie, Senior District Judge. (3:13-cr-00479-CMC-2; 3:13-cr-00479-CMC-3) Submitted: August 31, 2015 Decided: September 16, 2015 Before DUNCAN and FLOYD, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge. Appeal: 14-4560 Doc: 34 Filed: 09/16/2015 Pg: 2 of 5 Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Mark Shannon Manuel, James Chappell Dew, Appellants Pro Se. Tommie DeWayne Pearson, Assistant United States Attorney, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. 2 Appeal: 14-4560 Doc: 34 Filed: 09/16/2015 Pg: 3 of 5 PER CURIAM: Mark S. Manuel and James C. Dew were convicted by a jury of eight counts of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 1341 (2012), and Defendants were raise each sentenced 120 arguments several to on months in appeal, prison. including challenges to the district court’s decision to admit certain evidence against Defendants; the district court’s interruption during the Government’s direct examination of one of its witnesses; and the district court’s failure to dismiss the mail fraud charges against them after it granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss a charge of uttering counterfeit government obligations, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 514 (2012). We have reviewed the record and have considered Defendants’ arguments and find no reversible error by the district court. For instance, we discern no reversible error in the district court’s interruption of the Government’s examination of one of its witnesses. Under Fed. R. Evid. 611, trial courts have the authority to organize the mode and order of witnesses in order to make effective procedures for determining the truth. Moreover, trial judges have the right, and often the obligation, to “interrupt the presentations of counsel in order to clarify misunderstandings.” United States v. Smith, 452 F.3d 323, 332 (4th Cir. 2006) (citation and quotation marks omitted). Thus, we find that it was not an abuse of discretion for the district 3 Appeal: 14-4560 Doc: 34 court to Filed: 09/16/2015 ask clarifying Pg: 4 of 5 questions and allow return to the stand to clarify his testimony. the witness to See United States v. Cassiagnol, 420 F.2d 868, 877 (4th Cir. 1970) (finding no reversible court’s] error where questioning the was “obvious to clear purpose up a of the confusing [trial factual situation and the triers of fact (the jury in Cassiagnol’s case . . .) were entitled determination evidence is questions of in the to facts[,]” conflict designed information to it bring is and necessary holding proper before that for the to a jury a correct “where judge the the to ask facts and circumstances pertinent to the alleged offense”). We also discern no reversible error in the district court’s jury instructions. In particular, although Defendants did not request that the jury be instructed regarding the dismissal of one of the instruction counts of counts was with not which which legally Defendants they were supported. were charged, In convicted such particular, required that an the the Government prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Defendants: “(1) devised or intended to devise a scheme to defraud and (2) used the scheme.” mail or wire communications in furtherance of the United States v. Wynn, 684 F.3d 473, 477 (4th Cir. 2012). In contrast, the dismissed charge, which charged Defendants with uttering counterfeit government obligations, required that 4 Appeal: 14-4560 the Doc: 34 Filed: 09/16/2015 Government Defendants: presented, prove, Pg: 5 of 5 beyond a reasonable doubt, that (1) with intent to defraud; (2) passed uttered, offered, brokered, issued, sold, or attempted or caused the same, or with like intent possessed within the United States; (3) a false or fictitious instrument, document, or other item appearing, representing, purporting, or contriving through scheme or artifice to be an actual security or other financial instrument issued under the authority of the United States. 18 U.S.C. § 514 (2012). See As separate and distinct elements were required to prove the counts, there was no need for the trial court to instruct the jury about the dismissed count. We have reviewed Defendants’ arguments in their entirety and find district them to court’s be meritless. judgments. We Accordingly, dispense with we affirm oral the argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 5

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