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United States v. Rice

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

January 22, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SHAWN RICE, AKA Shawn Talbot Rice, Defendant-Appellant

Submitted September 9, 2014. [*]

Page 1022

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Nevada. D.C. No. 2:09-cr-00078-JCM-GWF-2, D.C. No. 2:10-cr-00520-JCM-GWF-1. James C. Mahan, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[**]

Criminal Law

The panel affirmed convictions for conspiracy, money laundering, and failure to appear, but vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing and recalculation of restitution and forfeiture.

The panel held that although the district court should have acted more promptly in granting the defendant's request to appear pro se, the district court did not violate the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to self-representation.

The panel held that the defendant's Sixth Amendment rights were not violated at a March 6, 2009, initial appearance and arraignment on the conspiracy and money laundering charges, which proceeded precisely as if the defendant were representing himself with the assistance of standby counsel.

The panel wrote that even assuming that some delay in addressing the defendant's March 6 self-representation request can be attributed to the defendant's failure to appear for a pretrial conference, the district court, which did not conduct a Faretta hearing until July 28, 2009, and in the interim struck a dozen pretrial motions because they were not filed by counsel, should have taken up the self-representation request more expeditiously.

The panel held that the district court's actions during the July 28 initial appearance and arraignment on the failure-to-appear charges ensured that there was no constitutional violation. The panel explained that the district court, when granting the defendant's request to proceed pro se, placed the defendant in the same situation on July 28 as would have obtained had his Faretta motion been granted on March 6 by inviting him to refile all motions, extending the time to file motions to a date to which the defendant stipulated, and giving him more time to prepare for trial than he would have had otherwise.

The panel found no violation of the defendant's statutory right to a speedy trial.

In light of the government's concession that the district court improperly based the sentence, restitution, and forfeiture on a loss amount that included money laundered before the defendant joined the conspiracy, the panel remanded for resentencing and recalculation.

William H. Gamage, Gamage & Gamage, Las Vegas, Nevada, for Defendant-Appellant.

Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney, Elizabeth O. White, Appellate Chief, Adam Flake, Assistant United States Attorney, Las Vegas, Nevada, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Before: Carlos T. Bea, Sandra S. Ikuta, and Andrew D. Hurwitz, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1023

HURWITZ, Circuit Judge:

The central question in this appeal is whether the district court denied Shawn Rice his Sixth Amendment right to self-representation. Although the district court should have acted more promptly in granting Rice's request to appear pro se, we find no constitutional violation. We also reject Rice's argument that the district court failed to comply with the Speedy Trial Act. We therefore affirm Rice's convictions. However, because the government concedes error in ...


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