United States v. Robinson, No. 15-1402 (3d Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Robinson robbed a Subway restaurant with a gun. Later that day, he robbed Anna’s Linens store, using a handgun. Both robberies were recorded by video cameras. The next day, the Subway cashier recognized Robinson on the street and notified police. Robinson was arrested. Suspecting that Robinson might have committed the Anna’s robbery, a Philadelphia detective prepared a photo array. The Anna’s cashier identified Robinson. Charged with two counts of robbery by means of actual and threatened force, violence and fear of injury, by brandishing a handgun (18 U.S.C. 1951(a), Hobbs Act), and two counts of using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, 18 U.S.C. 924(c), Robinson sought to proceed pro se. During a hearing, Robinson changed his mind. Later, following his unsuccessful motion to suppress the photo identification, Robinson orally requested to proceed pro se. The court directed him to file a motion. No motion was filed. Robinson was sentenced as a career offender based on a 1990 Pennsylvania robbery conviction and a 2009 Maryland carjacking conviction. The Third Circuit affirmed his conviction, finding that the Hobbs Act robbery qualifies as a crime of violence under the “elements clause” of 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(3)(A) because the two offenses, robbery and brandishing a gun, were tried together and the jury reached a guilty verdict on both. The court upheld the identification and failure to conduct a hearing on Robinson’s motion to proceed pro se, but remanded for determination of whether Robinson was properly sentenced as a career offender.