US v. Jarell Montez Walker
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 1:15-cr-00323-WO-4 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-4645]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
JARELL MONTEZ WALKER,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, at
Greensboro. William L. Osteen, Jr., Chief District Judge. (1:15-cr-00323-WO-4)
Submitted: June 16, 2017
Decided: August 4, 2017
Before DIAZ and HARRIS, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Scott C. Brown, SCOTT C. BROWN LAW OFFICE, Wheeling, West Virginia, for
Appellant. Terry Michael Meinecke, Assistant United States Attorney, Greensboro,
North Carolina, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Jarell Montez Walker pled guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, to being a felon in
possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) (2012). The district court
sentenced him to 204 months’ imprisonment. Counsel has filed a brief pursuant to
Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), stating that there are no meritorious grounds
for appeal but questioning whether the district court erred in considering Walker’s
criminal history in crafting his sentence.
Walker filed a supplemental pro se brief
challenging his designation as an armed career criminal. We affirm.
Walker’s Presentence Report stated that he qualified for increased penalties under
the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) (2012) (“ACCA”).
identified the three qualifying predicate convictions as two North Carolina convictions
for felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and one conviction for felony
assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious bodily injury. Walker
did not object to this designation at his sentencing hearing. We therefore review this
issue for plain error. See United States v. Price, 777 F.3d 700, 711 (4th Cir. 2015).
To satisfy plain-error review, Walker must show “that (1) an error was committed,
(2) the error was plain, and (3) the error affected [his] substantial rights.” Id. (internal
quotation marks omitted). An error is plain if, “at the time of appellate consideration . . .
the settled law of the Supreme Court or this circuit establishes that an error has occurred.”
United States v. Ramirez–Castillo, 748 F.3d 205, 215 (4th Cir. 2014) (internal quotation
marks omitted). However, even if Walker makes the requisite showing, correction of the
error lies within this court’s discretion, which it exercises only if “the error seriously
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affected the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings.” Price, 777
F.3d at 711 (brackets and internal quotation marks omitted).
We have thoroughly
reviewed the record, the PSR materials and response, the sentencing transcript and the
parties’ arguments. There is nothing in the record that shows that the district court
plainly erred in its designation of Walker as an armed career criminal. Accordingly,
Walker’s challenge on this ground fails.
We turn next to Walker’s argument that his sentence was unreasonable. We
review a sentence for reasonableness, applying “a deferential abuse-of-discretion
standard.” Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 41 (2007). This review entails appellate
consideration of both the procedural and substantive reasonableness of the sentence. Id.
at 51. In determining procedural reasonableness, we consider whether the district court
properly calculated the defendant’s advisory Sentencing Guidelines range, gave the
parties an opportunity to argue for an appropriate sentence, considered the 18 U.S.C.
§ 3553(a) (2012) factors, and sufficiently explained the selected sentence. Gall, 552 U.S.
If there are no procedural errors, we then consider the substantive
reasonableness of a sentence, evaluating “the totality of the circumstances.” Id. at 51. A
sentence is presumptively reasonable if it is within the properly calculated Sentencing
Guidelines range, and this “presumption can only be rebutted by showing that the
sentence is unreasonable when measured against the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors.”
United States v. Louthian, 756 F.3d 295, 306 (4th Cir. 2014).
The record establishes that Walker’s sentence is procedurally and substantively
The district court properly calculated Walker’s offense level, criminal
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history, and Sentencing Guidelines range. The court afforded the parties an adequate
opportunity to make arguments about an appropriate sentence, and the court’s
explanation for its sentence was individualized and detailed.
Further, Walker fails to overcome the presumption of substantive reasonableness
accorded to his within-Guidelines sentence. The district court did not abuse its discretion
in considering Walker’s criminal history while evaluating the § 3553(a) factors, and the
record does not indicate that the court’s individualized sentence was unreasonable in
view of the totality of the circumstances.
Pursuant to Anders, we have reviewed the entire record and have found no
meritorious issues for appeal. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s judgment. This
court requires that counsel inform Walker, in writing, of the right to petition the Supreme
Court of the United States for further review. If Walker requests that a petition be filed,
but counsel believes that such a petition would be frivolous, then counsel may move in
this court for leave to withdraw from representation. Counsel’s motion must state that a
copy thereof was served on Walker. 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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