US v. Julius Lamont Smoot
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 1:16-cr-00279-NCT-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [17-4154]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
JULIUS LAMONT SMOOT,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, at
Greensboro. N. Carlton Tilley, Jr., Senior District Judge. (1:16-cr-00279-NCT-1)
Submitted: October 31, 2017
Decided: November 7, 2017
Before TRAXLER, KING, and HARRIS, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Louis C. Allen, Federal Public Defender, Tiffany T. Jefferson, Assistant Federal Public
Defender, Greensboro, North Carolina, for Appellant. Kyle David Pousson, Assistant
United States Attorney, Greensboro, North Carolina, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Julius Lamont Smoot appeals from his conviction and 34-month sentence entered
pursuant to his guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On appeal,
counsel has filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), stating
that there are no meritorious issues for appeal but questioning the reasonableness of
Neither Smoot nor the Government has filed a brief.
comprehensive review of the record and brief on appeal, we affirm.
We review Smoot’s sentence for both procedural and substantive reasonableness
“under a deferential abuse-of-discretion standard.” Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 41
This court “first ensure[s] that the district court committed no significant
procedural error, such as failing to calculate (or improperly calculating) the Guidelines
range, . . . failing to consider the [18 U.S.C.] § 3553(a)  factors, . . . or failing to
adequately explain the chosen sentence.” Id. at 51. If there is no significant procedural
error, we then consider the sentence’s substantive reasonableness under “the totality of
the circumstances, including the extent of any variance from the Guidelines range.” Id.
We presume that a sentence within a properly calculated Guidelines range is reasonable.
United States v. Louthian, 756 F.3d 295, 306 (4th Cir. 2014). A defendant can rebut this
presumption only “by showing that the sentence is unreasonable when measured against
the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors.” Id.
Here, we conclude that the district court correctly calculated the Guidelines range.
Neither party objected, and the district court then proceeded to discuss with Smoot at
length various aspects of the presentence report (PSR) and his criminal background. The
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court asked numerous questions and demonstrated a thorough familiarity with the PSR.
Thus, although the actual imposition of sentence was accompanied by only brief
reasoning, the sentencing hearing, as a whole, made it clear that the court considered the
various sentencing factors as they related to Smoot and provided a sufficient explanation
for the within-Guidelines sentence.
There is no evidence of procedural error, nor
anything in the record to rebut the presumption that Smoot’s within-Guidelines sentence
is otherwise reasonable.
In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire record in this case and
have found no meritorious issues for appeal. We therefore affirm Smoot’s conviction and
sentence. This court requires that counsel inform Smoot, in writing, of the right to
petition the Supreme Court of the United States for further review. If Smoot 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 Smoot. 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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