Argued: March 22, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Western
District of North Carolina, at Charlotte. Max O. Cogburn,
Jr., District Judge. (3:15-cr-00007-MOC-1)
Richard Lamb Brown, Jr., LAW OFFICES OF RICHARD L. BROWN,
JR., Monroe, North Carolina, for Appellant.
Anthony Joseph Enright, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY,
Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellee.
Westmoreland Rose, United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Charlotte, North Carolina, for
NIEMEYER, DUNCAN, and HARRIS, Circuit Judges.
by published opinion. Judge Niemeyer wrote the opinion, in
which Judge Duncan and Judge Harris joined.
NIEMEYER, Circuit Judge
Quantrell Reid pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a
felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), the
district court sentenced him to 15 years' imprisonment
under the Armed Career Criminal Act ("ACCA")
because he had three previous convictions for a "violent
felony, " id. § 924(e)(1). Specifically,
the court found that Reid's three prior convictions under
Virginia Code § 18.2-55, which has as an element the
knowing and willful infliction of bodily injury, fell within
ACCA's definition of "violent felony" because
the state crime "has as an element the use . . . of
physical force against the person of another, " 18
U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(i).
contends on appeal that his three prior convictions do not
fall within ACCA's definition because § 18.2-55 can
be violated in a variety of nonviolent ways. We disagree.
Applying the categorical approach, we conclude that, to
violate Virginia Code § 18.2-55, a defendant must
necessarily use "force capable of causing physical pain
or injury, " which the Supreme Court has held brings a
state crime within ACCA's ambit. Johnson v. United
States, 559 U.S. 133, 140 (2010). Accordingly, we
presentence report issued by the probation office recommended
that Reid be sentenced as an armed career criminal based on
three Virginia state court convictions for "Inflict
Bodily Injury" committed in March 2004, April 2005, and
July 2005. The report noted that in each case Reid was
sentenced to five years' imprisonment, with a portion of
each sentence conditionally suspended. The report did not,
however, identify the specific Virginia Code provision for
"Inflict Bodily Injury."
sentencing, Reid's counsel acknowledged that Reid had
three times been convicted of violating Virginia Code §
18.2-55 for knowingly and willfully inflicting bodily injury
on juvenile detention facility employees. But he argued that
because common law battery is a lesser-included offense of
§ 18.2-55, the level of injury required to support a
conviction under § 18.2-55 was no greater than that
required for a common law battery conviction. Stated
otherwise, he argued that § 18.2-55 was nothing more
than a provision imposing a harsher penalty for a battery
offense because the offense was committed against
correctional facility ...