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Tag Archives: Judge William B. Traxler Jr.

Prior domestic violations lead to enhanced sentence (access required)

The district court did not err in sentencing the defendant to a longer term because of three prior convictions for criminal domestic violence, because those convictions categorically qualified as a “violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act, or ACCA. ...

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Supervised release revoked for admission of meth distribution (access required)

Where a defendant who was being held at a county jail admitted to distributing methamphetamine during questioning by his parole officer, it did not violate the Fifth Amendment to use that admission to prove that the defendant violated his supervised ...

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4th Cir.: Sentence-reduction motion was in feds’ discretion (access required)

By the unambiguous terms of a plea agreement, the government had discretion to determine whether the defendant had complied with his obligation under the agreement to give full and complete testimony when asked. Given this discretion, it was not required ...

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4th Cir.: State water agencies’ review of pipeline effects was sound (access required)

Based on thorough analysis by Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality, the state Water Control Board had a sufficient basis to certify reasonable assurance that the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project – and the restrictions and protective measures it included – would ...

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4th Cir.: Substitute judge erred in granting reconsideration (access required)

After the initial trial judge’s retirement, the re-assignment judge erred in reconsidering and effectively reversing a highly fact-dependent decision to recognize the defendants’ immunity from suit. The reconsideration exceeded the bounds of Rule 54. Background Defendants Jason Carpenter, Christopher Small, ...

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4th Cir.: Law covering “de minimis” theft no grounds for removal (access required)

Because not all of the offenses encompassed under Maryland’s theft statute qualify as crimes involving moral turpitude, the Board of Immigration Appeals erred in concluding that the petitioner committed such crimes and was thus ineligible for cancellation of removal. Background ...

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4th Cir.: With pedophilia diagnosis rejected, commitment ends (access required)

The district court did not err in finding that a developmentally disabled individual, civilly committed as a sexually violent predator, no longer met the criteria for continued commitment and must be released. Background Appellant Walter Wooden was born in 1956 ...

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4th Cir.: “Sexually dangerous person” finding affirmed (access required)

Although the defendant claimed that he could control his pedophilic impulses and that his past behavior was limited to mere exhibition, not “hands-on offenses,” the district court properly found him to be a “sexually dangerous person.” Background Appellant Kaylan Bell ...

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4th Cir.: Officer lacked reasonable suspicion of drug crime (access required)

An officer lacked reasonable suspicion to prolong an early-morning traffic stop, despite the apparent nervousness of the driver and passenger, the driver’s claim that he’d just purchased the vehicle despite being unemployed, and evidence of a long-distance trip inconsistent with ...

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