US v. James Liken
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 5:15-cr-00135-FL-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-4810]
Pg: 1 of 3
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
JAMES LOYAL LIKEN,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, at
Raleigh. Louise W. Flanagan, District Judge. (5:15-cr-00135-FL-1)
Submitted: June 6, 2017
Decided: July 11, 2017
Before KING, AGEE, and FLOYD, Circuit Judges.
Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Wayne Buchanan Eads, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellant. John Stuart Bruce,
United States Attorney, Jennifer P. May-Parker, First Assistant United States Attorney,
Barbara D. Kocher, Assistant United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED
STATES ATTORNEY, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
Pg: 2 of 3
James Loyal Liken pleaded guilty, pursuant to a written plea agreement, to armed
bank robbery with abduction, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a), (d), and (e); robbery
of a gas station that unlawfully affected commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951; and
bank robbery with a dangerous weapon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a) and (d).
The district court—relying on a Sentencing Guideline imprisonment range of 135 to 168
months—sentenced Liken to concurrent 147 month terms of imprisonment. On appeal,
Liken challenges the district court’s application of a four-level abduction enhancement
that impacted his Guideline offense level and, by extension, his Guideline imprisonment
range. The Government has moved to dismiss Liken’s appeal on the basis of an appeal
waiver contained in Liken’s plea agreement. For the reasons that follow, we grant the
Government’s motion and dismiss Liken’s appeal.
An appeal waiver “preclude[s] a defendant from appealing a specific issue if . . .
the waiver is valid and . . . the issue being appealed is within the scope of the waiver.”
United States v. Thornsbury, 670 F.3d 532, 537 (4th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks
omitted). We review the validity and effect of an appeal waiver de novo. Id.
After reviewing the record, including the district court’s thorough plea colloquy,
we find that Liken agreed to his appeal waiver “knowingly and intelligently.” United
States v. Manigan, 592 F.3d 621, 627 (4th Cir. 2010). Therefore, we conclude that the
appeal waiver is valid.
We also conclude that Liken’s appeal falls within the scope of his valid appeal
waiver. Specifically, Liken’s challenge to the district court’s offense level determination
Pg: 3 of 3
is foreclosed by Liken’s waiver of the right to appeal “whatever sentence is imposed on
any ground, including any issues that relate to the establishment of the advisory
Guideline range.” J.A. 151. *
Accordingly, we dismiss Liken’s appeal of the district court’s sentencing decision.
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
This broad waiver is subject to exceptions that permit appeals from sentences
that exceed the applicable Guidelines imprisonment range, as well as appeals premised
on certain ineffective assistance of counsel or prosecutorial misconduct claims. J.A. 151.
However, Liken’s 147-month sentence was within the 135 to 168 month range calculated
by the district court, and Liken has not alleged any issues with his counsel or with the
prosecutor. Thus, the above-described appeal waiver exceptions are irrelevant in this
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?