US v. Clayton Paul, No. 14-4335 (4th Cir. 2014)

Annotate this Case
Download PDF
UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 14-4335 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. CLAYTON SAMUEL PAUL, Defendant -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. (1:13-cr-00342-NCT-1) Submitted: November 18, 2014 Decided: November 20, 2014 Before NIEMEYER, MOTZ, and GREGORY, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Lisa S. Costner, LISA S. COSTNER, P.A., Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for Appellant. Timothy Nicholas Matkins, Special Assistant United States Attorney, Greensboro, North Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Clayton Samuel Paul pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a felony offense in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2) (2012). district court applied a cross-reference pursuant to The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual (USSG) § 2K2.1(c)(1)(A) (2013) to the Guideline for kidnapping, abduction, or unlawful restraint, USSG § 2A4.1, after finding that Paul possessed the firearm in connection with a kidnapping, abduction or unlawful restraint. The court imposed a 120-month sentence. brief in (1967), accordance stating meritorious with that, issues for Anders in v. Paul’s counsel filed a California, counsel’s appeal, but view, 386 U.S. 738 there are no whether the questioning district court erred by applying the kidnapping cross-reference under USSG §§ 2K2.1(c)(1)(A), Paul’s Guidelines brief, also range. challenging 2X1.1(a), Paul filed application 2A4.1, a of to calculate pro se supplemental the cross-reference. Concluding that the district court did not err, we affirm. We review a sentence for reasonableness, applying an abuse-of-discretion standard. 38, 51 (2007). Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. In determining procedural reasonableness, we consider whether the district court properly calculated Paul’s Sentencing Guidelines range. Id. at 49–51. This court reviews the district court’s factual findings for clear error and its 2 legal conclusions de novo. United States v. Llamas, 599 F.3d 381, 387 (4th Cir. 2010). The cross-reference applies “[i]f the defendant used or possessed any firearm or ammunition in connection with the commission . . . of another offense.” argues that the district possessed the firearm abduction, or unlawful court in USSG § 2K2.1(c)(1). erred connection restraint. in finding with Faced that Paul he a kidnapping, with conflicting evidence, the district court found Paul’s evidence incredible, and found the victim’s testimony credible. error in this determination. We find no clear See United States v. Harvey, 532 F.3d 326, 336-37 (4th Cir. 2008) (defining clear error). “[W]hen a district court’s factual finding is based upon assessments of witness credibility, such finding is deserving of the highest degree of appellate deference.” United States v. Thompson, 554 F.3d (internal 450, 452 (4th citation omitted). Cir. 2009) quotation marks and Accordingly, we affirm the application of this cross-reference. In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire record in this case and have found no meritorious issues for appeal. We therefore affirm Paul’s conviction and sentence. This court requires that counsel inform Paul, in writing, of the right to petition the Supreme Court of the United States for further review. If Paul requests that a petition be filed, but 3 counsel believes that such a petition would be frivolous, then counsel may move representation. in and materials legal before court for leave to withdraw from Counsel’s motion must state that a copy thereof was served on Paul. facts this We dispense with oral argument because the contentions are adequately this and argument court presented would not in the aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 4