United States v. Muslim, No. 16-4304 (4th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Fourth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for charges related to his operation of a prostitution ring. The court rejected defendant's numerous claims of error, holding that the trial court was within its discretion to deny the motion to continue; the district court did not abuse its discretion in proceeding with the trial when defendant was absent for a single morning session of his week-long trial; even if the district court's denial of a motion to exclude the expert testimony of a software quality assurance engineer was error, the error was harmless; the district court did not clearly err in failing to inquire about whether defendant wanted to testify; although the district court erred by instructing the jury as to Count Seven, the court could not say that declining to correct the errors would seriously affect the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings, nor would it result in a miscarriage of justice; and the district court was within its discretion to deny defendant's motion to withdraw as counsel. Finally, the court rejected defendant's four claims of sentencing errors.