United States v. Ketae Robbins

Court Case Details
Court Case Opinion




No. 12-4478


Plaintiff - Appellee,



Defendant - Appellant.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle
District of North Carolina, at Greensboro. Catherine C. Eagles,
District Judge. (1:11-cr-00339-CCE-2)

Submitted: December 17, 2012

Decided: January 3, 2013

Before MOTZ, SHEDD, and DIAZ, Circuit Judges.

Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.

Milton Bays Shoaf, Jr., ADDISON & SHOAF, Salisbury, North
Carolina, for Appellant. Sandra Jane Hairston, Assistant United
States Attorney, Greensboro, North Carolina, for Appellee.

Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.


Ketae Jemel Robbins appeals his conviction and

sentence at the low end of his Guidelines range after pleading

guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine

hydrochloride. Robbins’s attorney has filed a brief pursuant

to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), asserting, in his

opinion, that there are no meritorious grounds for appeal but

raising the issue of whether the district court “erred by

sentencing defendant to 188 months based upon all the

circumstances of the case, including his motion for a [four]

point reduction in sentencing level and departure, and whether

the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 would operate to reduce his

sentence.” Robbins has filed a pro se supplemental brief

raising the issues of whether the district court erred or abused

its discretion in sentencing him as a career offender, and

whether his counsel was ineffective at sentencing. We affirm.

We review a sentence under a deferential abuse-of-

discretion standard. Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 51

(2007). The first step in this review requires us to ensure

that the district court committed no significant procedural

error, such as improperly calculating the Guidelines range,

failing to consider the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) (2006) factors, or

failing to adequately explain the sentence. United States v.

Carter, 564 F.3d 325, 328 (4th Cir. 2009). If the sentence is


procedurally reasonable, we then consider the substantive

reasonableness of the sentence imposed, taking into account the

totality of the circumstances. Gall, 552 U.S. at 51. We

presume that a sentence within or below a properly calculated

Guidelines range is substantively reasonable. United States v.

Susi, 674 F.3d 278, 289 (4th Cir. 2012).

In sentencing, the district court should first

calculate the Guidelines range and give the parties an

opportunity to argue for whatever sentence they deem

appropriate. United States v. Mendoza-Mendoza, 597 F.3d 212,

216 (4th Cir. 2010). The district court should then consider

the § 3553(a) factors to determine whether they support the

sentence requested by either party. Id. When rendering a

sentence, the district court must make and place on the record

an individualized assessment based on the particular facts of

the case. Carter, 564 F.3d at 328, 330.

In explaining the chosen sentence, the “sentencing

judge should set forth enough to satisfy the appellate court

that he has considered the parties’ arguments and has a reasoned

basis for exercising his own legal decisionmaking

authority.” Rita v. United States, 551 U.S. 338, 356 (2007).

While a district court must consider the statutory factors and

explain its sentence, it need not discuss every factor on the


record. United States v. Johnson, 445 F.3d 339, 345 (4th Cir.


We have reviewed the record and conclude that

Robbins’s sentence is procedurally and substantively reasonable,

and the district court did not err or abuse its discretion in

sentencing him. To the extent that he challenges the district

court’s denial of a downward departure, we lack authority to

review the denial. See United States v. Brewer, 520 F.3d 367,

371 (4th Cir. 2008). Finally, because the record does not

conclusively show ineffective assistance of counsel, this issue

may not be raised on direct appeal. See United States v.

Baptiste, 596 F.3d 214, 216-17 n.1 (4th Cir. 2010).

In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire

record in this case and have found no meritorious issues for

appeal. We therefore affirm the district court’s judgment.

This court requires that counsel inform his or her client, in

writing, of his or her right to petition the Supreme Court of

the United States for further review. If the client requests

that a petition be filed, but counsel believes that such a

petition would be frivolous, then counsel may move in this court

for leave to withdraw from representation. Counsel’s motion

must state that a copy thereof was served on the client.

We dispense with oral argument because the facts and

legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials


before the court and argument would not aid the decisional




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