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United States v. Reid

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

June 28, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
QUANTRELL DION REID, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued: March 22, 2017

         Appeal 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)

         ARGUED:

          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.

         ON BRIEF:

          Jill Westmoreland Rose, United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellee.

          Before NIEMEYER, DUNCAN, and HARRIS, Circuit Judges.

         Affirmed by published opinion. Judge Niemeyer wrote the opinion, in which Judge Duncan and Judge Harris joined.

          NIEMEYER, Circuit Judge

         After 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).

         Reid 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 affirm.

         I

         The 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."

         At 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 ...


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