US v. Curtis Richardson
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 4:15-cr-00492-RBH-1. Copies to all parties and the district court. . [16-4359]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of
South Carolina, at Florence. R. Bryan Harwell, District Judge.
November 30, 2016
January 3, 2017
Before NIEMEYER, TRAXLER, and FLOYD, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
William F. Nettles, IV, Assistant Federal Public Defender,
Florence, South Carolina, for Appellant.
Taylor, Assistant United States Attorney, Florence, South
Carolina, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Curtis Richardson appeals his conviction and sentence of 57
months of imprisonment following his plea of guilty to being a
felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in violation of
18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2) (2012).
Appellate counsel has
filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738
(1967), concluding that there are no meritorious issues for appeal
but questioning whether: (1) the district court erred in denying
Richardson’s motion to dismiss for alleged violations of the Speedy
Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161(b) (2012); (2) the district court erred
in denying Richardson’s motion in limine; and (3) the district
court erred in allowing Richardson to proceed pro se.
has filed a pro se supplemental brief contending that two prior
state convictions used to enhance his sentence were invalid, and
the presentence report counted offenses that were too old to be
included in his criminal history score.
We review a district court’s legal conclusions with respect
to a motion to dismiss the indictment de novo, and its factual
findings for clear error.
United States v. Perry, 757 F.3d 166,
171 (4th Cir. 2014).
commission of an offense shall be filed within thirty days from
the date on which such individual was arrested or served with a
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summons in connection with such charges.”
18 U.S.C. § 3161(b)
Richardson contends that the Speedy Trial Act’s 30-day period
was triggered upon his state arrest on April 14, 2015.
his argument is directly foreclosed by our decision in United
States v. Thomas, where we held that the 30-day period is triggered
upon a defendant’s arrest or indictment on federal charges, not
55 F.3d 144, 148 (4th Cir. 1995); see United States
v. Burgess, 684 F.3d 445, 451 (4th Cir. 2012) (citing Thomas).
Richardson was indicted on the federal charge on July 28, 2015,
and arrested the next day, July 29.
Thus, we conclude there was
no violation of the Speedy Trial Act.
Next, we review de novo a district court’s refusal to allow
a justification defense.
United States v. Perrin, 45 F.3d 869,
871 (4th Cir. 1995); United States v. Ricks, 573 F.3d 198, 200
(4th Cir. 2009).
possessing a firearm, a defendant must show that he
was under unlawful and present threat of death or
serious bodily injury;
did not recklessly place himself in a situation
where he would be forced to engage in criminal
had no reasonable legal alternative (to both the
criminal act and the avoidance of the threatened
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[can show] a direct causal relationship between the
criminal action and the avoidance of the threatened
Ricks, 573 F.3d at 202 (internal quotation marks omitted).
defense is construed “very narrowly.”
United States v. Mooney,
We conclude that the district court did not err in denying
Richardson’s motion in limine.
Although Richardson may have had
a generalized fear, the record does not show that he was under any
immediate threat of serious bodily injury, and thus, Richardson
has not shown that he was entitled to the justification defense.
We review de novo a district court’s determination that a
defendant has waived his right to counsel.
United States v. Owen,
407 F.3d 222, 225 (4th Cir. 2005); see United States v. Ductan,
800 F.3d 642, 647 n.1 (4th Cir. 2015).
A defendant “may waive the right to counsel and proceed at
trial pro se only if the waiver is (1) clear and unequivocal,
(2) knowing, intelligent, and voluntary, and (3) timely.”
States v. Bernard, 708 F.3d 583, 588 (4th Cir. 2013); see Faretta
v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 835 (1975).
Our review of the record reveals that the district court fully
complied with Faretta in granting Richardson’s motion to proceed
pro se after a thorough hearing.
Thus, we conclude the district
court did not err in allowing Richardson to proceed pro se.
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We review a sentence for reasonableness “under a deferential
United States v. McCoy, 804 F.3d
349, 351 (4th Cir. 2015) (quoting Gall v. United States, 552 U.S.
38, 41 (2007)).
In his pro se supplemental brief, Richardson contends that
two prior state convictions used to enhance his sentence were
invalid because they were uncounseled and not the result of knowing
and voluntary guilty pleas.
However, Richardson has presented
nothing more than an assertion that his prior convictions are
Moreover, the PSR states that Richardson was represented
by counsel with respect to the marijuana charge, and the firearm
charge was dismissed and did not affect Richardson’s criminal
We conclude there was no error with respect to
Finally, Richardson contends in his pro se supplemental brief
that the PSR counted offenses that were too old to be included in
his criminal history score.
In particular, he points to a second-
degree burglary charge that was committed in 1998, beyond the 15year applicable time period. See U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual
§ 4A1.2(e)(1) (2015).
However, USSG § 4A1.2(k)(2) provides that
in the case of a revocation of parole involving a felony, the
incarceration on such sentence.”
Richardson’s parole for the
burglary charge was revoked in December 2005, and he was released
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from prison in July 2006, within 15 years of the possession of the
firearm and ammunition.
Thus, we conclude there was no sentencing
In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire record
in this case and have found no meritorious issues for appeal.
therefore affirm the judgment of the district court.
requires that counsel inform Richardson, in writing, of the right
to petition the Supreme Court of the United States for further
If Richardson requests that a petition be filed, but
counsel believes that such a petition would be frivolous, then
Counsel’s motion must state that a copy thereof
was served on Richardson.
We dispense with oral argument 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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