USA v. Lamart Kwaja


UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [16-50755 Affirmed] Judge: FPB, Judge: JLD, Judge: ECP. Mandate pull date is 07/14/2017 for Appellant Lamart Joel Kwaja [16-50755]

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Case: 16-50755 Document: 00514046899 Page: 1 Date Filed: 06/23/2017 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT No. 16-50755 Summary Calendar United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED June 23, 2017 Lyle W. Cayce Clerk UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee v. LAMART JOEL KWAJA, also known as Michael Lamart, also known as Lmart Kwaja, also known as Lamart J. Kwaja, also known as Lamart J. Martin, also known as Lamart Joel Martin, also known as La Mart J. Martin, Defendant-Appellant Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas USDC No. 5:15-CR-183-1 Before BENAVIDES, DENNIS and PRADO, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: * Lamart Joel Kwaja pleaded guilty of assault on a federal officer, and he was sentenced within the guidelines range to a 120-month term of imprisonment and to a three-year period of supervised release. Kwaja contends that the district court abused its discretion in denying his motion to continue the sentencing hearing to enable him to obtain expert Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR. R. 47.5.4. * Case: 16-50755 Document: 00514046899 Page: 2 Date Filed: 06/23/2017 No. 16-50755 evaluation of the officer’s medical records and that the district court clearly erred in finding that the officer sustained a serious bodily injury for purposes of applying U.S.S.G. § 2A2.2(a) & (b)(3)(C). A preponderance of the evidence shows that the officer experienced extreme physical pain and a protracted impairment of his brain because of Kwaja’s assault. See United States v. Alaniz, 726 F.3d 586, 619 (5th Cir. 2013); see also U.S.S.G. § 1B1.1, comment. (n.1(L)). Kwaja has not shown that he was seriously prejudiced by the denial of his motion for a continuance, and the district court’s finding that the officer sustained a serious bodily injury is plausible in light of the record as a whole, and, therefore, is not clearly erroneous. See United States v. Stanford, 805 F.3d 557, 567 (5th Cir. 2015), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 491 (2016); Alaniz, 726 F.3d at 618; see also United States v. Garza-Robles, 627 F.3d 161, 169-70 (5th Cir. 2010); United States v. Moore, 997 F.2d 30, 37 (5th Cir. 1993). Next, Kwaja asserts that, in applying U.S.S.G. § 3A1.2(b), the district court erred in finding that the assault was motivated by the officer’s status as a government official. The sole reason Kwaja’s altercation with the officer arose was because the officer was acting in his official capacity as a federal policeman. The district court did not clearly err. See United States v. Williams, 520 F.3d 414, 424 (5th Cir. 2008). Finally, Kwaja contends that the sentence is greater than necessary to satisfy the statutory sentencing factors and, therefore, is substantively unreasonable. Kwaja’s mere disagreement with the district court’s weighing of the statutory factors is insufficient to overcome the presumption of reasonableness applicable to his within-guidelines sentence. See United States v. Ruiz, 621 F.3d 390, 398 (5th Cir. 2010). The judgment is AFFIRMED. 2

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