US v. Roylin Beale, No. 12-4593 (4th Cir. 2013)

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 12-4593 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. ROYLIN JUNIUS BEALE, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, at Greenville. Louise W. Flanagan, District Judge. (4:11-cr-00030-FL-1) Submitted: February 26, 2013 Decided: April 2, 2013 Before SHEDD, KEENAN, and WYNN, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Thomas P. McNamara, Federal Public Defender, G. Alan DuBois, Assistant Federal Public Defender, James E. Todd, Jr., Research and Writing Attorney, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellant. Thomas G. Walker, United States Attorney, Jennifer P. MayParker, Yvonne V. Watford-McKinney, Assistant United States Attorneys, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Roylin Junius Beale pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted §§ 922(g)(1), 924 felon, (2006). He in violation received sentence of 118 months imprisonment. an of 18 U.S.C. above-Guidelines On appeal, Beale argues his sentence is procedurally unreasonable because the district court misapplied the guideline for under-representation of criminal history, and failed to address the mitigating factors he presented. of his He also challenges the substantive reasonableness sentence claiming credit for pleading guilty. We review deferential States, it fails U.S. sentences 38, 41, reflect any meaningful We affirm. for abuse-of-discretion 552 to reasonableness standard. 51 (2007). Gall This under v. review a United entails appellate consideration of both the procedural and substantive reasonableness of the sentence. procedural reasonableness, court properly range, gave calculated the parties we Id. at 51. consider In determining whether the defendant s an opportunity the advisory to district Guidelines argue for an appropriate sentence, considered the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) (2006) factors, and sufficiently explained the selected sentence. at 49-51. Id. If the sentence is free of significant procedural error, we review it for substantive reasonableness, tak[ing] into account the totality of the circumstances. 2 Id. at 51. When rendering a sentence, the district court must make an individualized assessment based on the facts presented, United States (internal v. Carter, quotation marks 564 F.3d and 325, 328 emphasis (4th Cir. omitted), and 2009) must adequately explain the chosen sentence to allow for meaningful appellate review sentencing. imposes a Guidelines and to promote the Gall, 552 U.S. at 50. sentence range, that we falls consider perception fair When a district court outside whether of of the the applicable sentencing court acted reasonably both with respect to its decision to impose such a sentence and with respect to the extent of the divergence from the sentencing range. United States Villanueva, 473 F.3d 118, 123 (4th Cir. 2007). v. Hernandez In conducting this review, we must give due deference to the district court s decision that the § 3553(a) factors, on a whole, justify the extent of the variance. Gall, 552 U.S. at 51. In its statement of reasons attached to the judgment, the district court stated it had granted an upward departure based on [U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual] § 4A1.3 [2011] and increased the top of the guideline range by 31 months, resulting in a sentence sufficient of 118 sentence. months which the court Beale first challenges found the to be a procedural aspect of his sentence on the ground that the district court failed to properly implement an 3 incremental approach when determining the degree of its upward departure, as required by USSG § 4A1.3(a)(4)(B). As this court has explained, however, [s]ection 4A1.3 s mandate to depart incrementally does not, of course, require a sentencing judge to move only one level, or to explain its rejection United States v. of Dalton, each 477 and every F.3d 195, intervening 199 (4th level. Cir. 2007) (citations omitted). Nor must the district court go through a ritualistic in exercise which it mechanically discusses each criminal history category [or offense level] it rejects en route to the category (citations [or omitted) offense level] (alterations in that it selects. original). Id. Nevertheless, [t]he farther the [sentencing] court diverges from the advisory guideline range, the more a reviewing court must carefully scrutinize the reasoning support of the sentence. offered by the district court in United States v. Hampton, 441 F.3d 284, 288 (4th Cir. 2006). Here, the district court did not conduct an incremental analysis of its upward departure under USSG § 4A1.3. This procedural error, however, is harmless where an upward variance based on the § 3553(a) factors justifie[s] the sentence imposed. United States v. Rivera-Santana, 668 F.3d 95, 104 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 274 (2012). Even when the district court does not formally grant a variance, the resulting sentence may nonetheless be upheld 4 as reasonable where the district court adequately explained its sentence on alternative grounds supporting a variance sentence, by reference to the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors. United States v. Grubbs, 585 F.3d 793, 804 (4th Cir. 2009) (relying on district court s discussion of the § 3553(a) factors to affirm a sentence as a reasonable variance, even though the district court had granted a departure on a basis that turned out to be improper); United States v. Evans, 526 F.3d 155, 164 (4th Cir. 2008) (finding that, even if the Guidelines themselves do not sanction the deviation, the sentence remains reasonable because it properly reflects the § 3553(a) considerations); see also United States v. DiosdadoStar, 630 F.3d 359, 365-66 (4th Cir.) ( [T]he method of deviation from the Guidelines range whether by a departure or by varying is justified irrelevant and so long reasonable. ), as cert. at least one rationale denied, 131 S. Ct. is 2946 (2011). Our review of the record confirms that, although the district court did not formally grant a variance, it explained in great length the sentence it ultimately imposed upon Beale in terms of the § 3553(a) factors. of the § 3553(a) factors as The district court s analysis they applied in Beale s circumstances serve as alternative grounds for its sentence and they do in fact support the variant sentence ultimately imposed. Grubbs, 585 F.3d at 804-05. Thus, any procedural error with 5 respect to its departure analysis is harmless. Rivera-Santana, 688 F.3d at 104; Evans, 526 F.3d at 165. To the extent that Beale argues the court failed to expressly consider the mitigating evidence he presented sentencing, his claim is belied by the record. at The district court considered Beale s difficult childhood, but found it to be no excuse for his [in]ability to conform his conduct to socially accepted authority, and standards, the his dangerousness failure that to to presents [he] submit as demonstrated on the [very mature] record. Last, unreasonable consider Beale because his argues the acceptance his district of sentence court did responsibility. is substantively not We meaningfully conclude the sentence imposed upon Beale is also substantively reasonable, in light of the totality of the circumstances. at 597. Gall, 128 S. Ct. The district court explained at length its decision to sentence Beale above the Guidelines range, referring multiple times to Beale s extensive criminal history and his disregard for the law and authorities. We find the district court s decision to depart thirty-one months above the high end of the Guidelines range is supported by the record and does not constitute an abuse of discretion. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and 6 legal before contentions this court are adequately and argument presented would not in aid the the materials decisional process. AFFIRMED 7