US v. Michael Bryant


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 4:15-cr-00716-RBH-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [1000050416].. [16-4493]

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Appeal: 16-4493 Doc: 32 Filed: 03/28/2017 Pg: 1 of 4 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 16-4493 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. MICHAEL BRYANT, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Florence. R. Bryan Harwell, District Judge. (4:15-cr-00716-RBH-1) Submitted: February 28, 2017 Decided: March 28, 2017 Before SHEDD, DIAZ, and HARRIS, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Kimberly H. Albro, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellant. Beth Drake, Acting United States Attorney, Alfred W. Bethea, Jr., Assistant United States Attorney, Florence, South Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Appeal: 16-4493 Doc: 32 Filed: 03/28/2017 Pg: 2 of 4 PER CURIAM: Michael Bryant appeals his jury conviction for possession of a firearm by a felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2) (2012). On appeal, Bryant contends the district court should have granted his motions for a mistrial and for judgment of acquittal. Specifically, he argues the Government breached a pretrial agreement precluding evidence, and the prejudice could not be cured by the district court’s curative instruction. He further contends the evidence was insufficient to prove that he possessed the firearm and to support his conviction. We review a district court’s mistrial for abuse of discretion. denial of a We affirm. motion for a United States v. Johnson, 587 F.3d 625, 631 (4th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted); United States v. Wallace, omitted). 515 F.3d 327, 330 (4th Cir. 2008) (citations “An abuse of discretion exists if . . . the defendant [can] show prejudice; no prejudice exists, however, if the jury could make court’s individual cautionary guilt determinations instructions.” Wallace, by following 515 F.3d the at 330 motion for (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). We review a district court’s judgment of acquittal de novo. denial of a United States v. Hassan, 742 F.3d 104, 139 (4th Cir. 2014). “Applying that standard, it is well settled that ‘[t]he verdict of a jury must be sustained if there is substantial evidence, taking the view most favorable to 2 Appeal: 16-4493 the Doc: 32 Filed: 03/28/2017 [g]overnment, to Pg: 3 of 4 support it.” Id. United States, 315 U.S. 60, 80 (1942)). is that which a reasonable finder (quoting Glasser v. “[S]ubstantial evidence of fact could accept as adequate and sufficient to support a conclusion of a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” and citation omitted). sufficiency of the Id. (internal quotation marks “Simply put, a defendant challenging the evidence faces a heavy burden.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). “‘To show a § 922(g)(1) violation, the government must prove three elements: (i) that the defendant was a convicted felon at the time of the offense; (ii) that he voluntarily and intentionally possessed a firearm; and (iii) that the firearm traveled in interstate commerce at some point.’” United States v. Adams, 814 F.3d 178, 183 (4th Cir. 2016) (quoting United States v. Gallimore, 247 F.3d 134, “[Section] 922(g)(1) does not require exclusive possession; sufficient.” “The constructive 136 or (4th Cir. 2001)). proof of actual or joint possession is Gallimore, 247 F.3d at 136-37 (citations omitted). Government may prove constructive possession by demonstrating that the defendant exercised, or had the power to exercise, dominion and control over the item.” Id. at 137 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). We have reviewed the record and conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Bryant’s motion 3 Appeal: 16-4493 Doc: 32 Filed: 03/28/2017 Pg: 4 of 4 for a mistrial, and the evidence was sufficient to support his conviction. We therefore affirm the district court’s judgment. We with dispense contentions are oral argument adequately because presented in the facts and the materials legal before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 4

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