US v. Christopher Erick Haney
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 1:15-cr-00278-NCT-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-4342]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
CHRISTOPHER ERICK HANEY,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle
District of North Carolina, at Greensboro.
N. Carlton Tilley,
Jr., Senior District Judge. (1:15-cr-00278-NCT-1)
February 2, 2017
July 21, 2017
Before GREGORY, Chief Judge, and WYNN and FLOYD, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Louis C. Allen, Federal Public Defender, Eric D. Placke, First
Assistant Federal Public Defender, Greensboro, North Carolina,
Ripley Rand, United States Attorney, Eric L.
Iverson, Assistant United States Attorney, Greensboro, North
Carolina, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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bench trial for possession of child pornography after a prior
introduced evidence of Haney’s 2005 North Carolina conviction
for taking indecent liberties with a child, N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann.
§ 14-202.1 (2015).
Over Haney’s objection, the district court
admissible under Fed. R. Evid. 414 and that, applying the fivefactor test in United States v. Kelly, 510 F.3d 433 (4th Cir.
outweighed by a risk of unfair prejudice.
The court found Haney
guilty and sentenced him to 210 months in prison.
On appeal, Haney challenges the district court’s decision
to admit his prior conviction.
“We review evidentiary rulings
for abuse of discretion and will not reverse a district court’s
decision to admit prior acts evidence unless it was arbitrary or
United States v. Faulls, 821 F.3d 502, 508 (4th
Additionally, we review evidentiary rulings for harmless error,
which requires that we determine “with fair assurance, after
action from the whole, that the judgment was not substantially
swayed by the error.”
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United States v. Cloud, 680 F.3d 396, 401
(4th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks omitted); see Fed. R.
Crim. P. 52(a).
quotation marks and footnote omitted).
Although admission of
evidence of prior child molestation is prejudicial, “it [is]
prejudicial for the same reason it is probative — it tends to
prove the defendant’s propensity to molest . . . children.”
at 438 (internal quotation marks and brackets omitted).
such evidence is unfairly prejudicial may it be excluded under
Fed. R. Evid. 403.
Id. at 437-38.
In applying Rule 403’s
balancing test, a district court should consider the following
factors: “(i) the similarity between the previous offense and
the charged crime, (ii) the temporal proximity between the two
crimes, (iii) the frequency of the prior acts, (iv) the presence
or absence of any intervening acts, and (v) the reliability of
the evidence of the past offense.”
Id. at 437.
Our review of the record reveals that the district court
committed no abuse of discretion in assessing the Kelly factors
and admitting Haney’s prior North Carolina conviction for taking
indecent liberties with a child.
Accordingly, we affirm the
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because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented
in the materials before this court and argument would not aid
the decisional process.
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