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UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed.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. [1000122735].. [16-4342]

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Appeal: 16-4342 Doc: 32 Filed: 07/21/2017 Pg: 1 of 4 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 16-4342 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. CHRISTOPHER ERICK HANEY, Defendant -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) Submitted: February 2, 2017 Decided: 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 Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.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, for Appellant. 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 Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Appeal: 16-4342 Doc: 32 Filed: 07/21/2017 Pg: 2 of 4 PER CURIAM: Christopher Erick Haney appeals his conviction after a bench trial for possession of child pornography after a prior conviction for sexual § 2252A(a)(5)(B), abuse, (b)(2) in (2012). violation At of the trial, 18 U.S.C. Government 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). admitted the Over Haney’s objection, the district court evidence, finding that the conviction was admissible under Fed. R. Evid. 414 and that, applying the fivefactor test in United States v. Kelly, 510 F.3d 433 (4th Cir. 2007), the probative value of the prior outweighed by a risk of unfair prejudice. conviction was not 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 irrational.” Cir. 2016) United States v. Faulls, 821 F.3d 502, 508 (4th (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Additionally, we review evidentiary rulings for harmless error, which requires that we determine “with fair assurance, after pondering all that happened without stripping the erroneous action from the whole, that the judgment was not substantially 2 Appeal: 16-4342 Doc: 32 Filed: 07/21/2017 swayed by the error.” Pg: 3 of 4 United States v. Cloud, 680 F.3d 396, 401 (4th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks omitted); see Fed. R. Crim. P. 52(a). When it Congress’s relevant comes view and that to . sexual . probative.” . offenses, propensity Kelly, 510 quotation marks and footnote omitted). “Rule evidence F.3d at 414 reflects is typically 437 (internal 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). Id. Only if 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. district court’s judgment. We 3 Accordingly, we affirm the dispense with oral argument Appeal: 16-4342 Doc: 32 Filed: 07/21/2017 Pg: 4 of 4 because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 4

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