US v. Tamara Williams-Kelly
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Motion disposition in opinion--granting Motion to expedite decision [1000002564-2] Originating case number: 3:16-cr-00036-FDW-DSC-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. . [16-4487]
Pg: 1 of 5
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 Western
District of North Carolina, at Charlotte.
Frank D. Whitney,
Chief District Judge. (3:16-cr-00036-FDW-DSC-1)
January 31, 2017
February 7, 2017
Before WILKINSON, MOTZ, and DIAZ, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
John Parke Davis, Acting Executive Director, Ann L. Hester,
FEDERAL DEFENDERS OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA, INC., Charlotte,
North Carolina, for Appellant. Jill Westmoreland Rose, United
States Attorney, Amy E. Ray, Assistant United States Attorney,
Asheville, North Carolina, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
Pg: 2 of 5
distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, in
violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (2012); possession with intent to
distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a) (2012);
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 952(a), 963 (2012); and importation of
Williams-Kelly to 30 months of imprisonment and she now appeals.
For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
Williams-Kelly first challenges the district court’s denial
of her request for a mitigating role reduction in her offense
In reviewing the district court’s calculations under the
Guidelines, “we review the district court’s legal conclusions de
States v. Manigan, 592 F.3d 621, 626 (4th Cir. 2010) (internal
quotation marks omitted).
We will “find clear error only if, on
the entire evidence, we are left with the definite and firm
(internal quotation marks omitted).
“Section 3B1.2 of the Sentencing Guidelines provides for
defendant played a part in committing the offense that makes
Pg: 3 of 5
[her] substantially less culpable than the average participant”
in the criminal activity.
United States v. Powell, 680 F.3d
350, 358 (4th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks omitted).
defendant may receive a four-level reduction in offense level if
three-level reduction if her participation fell between minimal
U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 3B1.2 (2016).
USSG § 3B1.2 cmt. n.4.
A minor participant is less
culpable than other participants in the criminal activity, while
not among the least culpable.
USSG § 3B1.2 cmt. n.5.
The Guidelines commentary specifies that the inquiry should
be fact-specific and based on the totality of the circumstances.
whether to apply a mitigating role reduction, including:
(i) the degree to which the defendant understood the
scope and structure of the criminal activity;
(ii) the degree to which the defendant participated in
planning or organizing the criminal activity;
(iii) the degree to which the defendant exercised
decision-making authority or influenced the exercise
of decision-making authority;
(iv) the nature
extent of the defendant’s
commission of the criminal
Pg: 4 of 5
activity, including the acts the defendant performed
and the responsibility and discretion the defendant
had in performing those acts; [and]
(v) the degree to which the defendant stood to benefit
from the criminal activity.
A defendant who did not have a proprietary interest in the
criminal activity but is simply paid to perform certain tasks
should be considered for a reduction, and “[t]he fact that a
defendant performs an essential or indispensable role in the
criminal activity is not determinative.”
mitigating role adjustment.
Powell, 680 F.3d at 358-59.
have reviewed the record and the relevant legal authorities and
Williams-Kelly’s request for a mitigating role reduction.
district court’s denial of a downward departure for aberrant
review a sentencing court’s decision not to depart unless the
court mistakenly believed that it lacked the authority to do
United States v. Louthian, 756 F.3d 295, 306 (4th Cir.
Pg: 5 of 5
Therefore, Williams-Kelly “cannot contest on appeal the court’s
failure to depart downward.”
Id. at 306.
Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court.
We grant Williams-Kelly’s motion to expedite the decision to the
possible given this court’s caseload.
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 in the decisional process.
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?