US v. Jovon Medley, No. 18-4789 (4th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed his felon in possession of a firearm conviction and sentence. Regarding his conviction, Defendant challenged the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress statements he made to the police, without the benefit of counsel, about the gun involved in the felon-in-possession charge. Regarding his sentence, he argues that the district court’s application of a Sentencing Guidelines enhancement, based on its finding that Defendant used the firearm to commit a carjacking, violated his Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial because it was based on acquitted conduct.
The Fourth Circuit rejected Defendant’s Sixth Amendment violation claims and affirmed the district court’s judgment. The court held that the district court did not violate Defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel by admitting the uncounseled statements that he made to Maryland police after he was appointed counsel in his D.C. case. The court reasoned that Defendant did not request his attorney, ask for the interview to stop or say anything that a reasonable police officer in the circumstances would understand to be a request for an attorney.
Further, the court held that Defendant’s Sixth Amendment challenge to the use of acquitted conduct as the basis for his Guidelines sentence enhancement is foreclosed by Supreme Court and Fourth Circuit precedent. Finally, the district court did not err by enhancing Defendant’s sentence when it found, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that he used the firearm in connection with the carjacking at issue.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on August 21, 2020.