854 F.3d 737 (5th Cir. 2017), 16-10463, United States v. Jones

Docket Nº:16-10463
Citation:854 F.3d 737
Opinion Judge:JENNIFER WALKER ELROD, Circuit Judge:
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff -- Appellee, v. DONSHAY JONES, Defendant -- Appellant
Attorney:For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Brian W. McKay, Esq., Assistant U.S. Attorney, James Wesley Hendrix, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas, Dallas, TX. For Donshay Jones, Defendant - Appellant: Darren Robert Hatch, Reagan McLain & Hatch, L...
Judge Panel:Before SMITH, ELROD, and HAYNES, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:April 20, 2017
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
SUMMARY

Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2119 and 2, and to one count of using, carrying, or brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A). The court concluded that the minimal interstate commerce nexus that the court's precedent requires for prosecution under section 2119 was satisfied, and that... (see full summary)

 
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Page 737

854 F.3d 737 (5th Cir. 2017)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff -- Appellee,

v.

DONSHAY JONES, Defendant -- Appellant

No. 16-10463

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

April 20, 2017

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Brian W. McKay, Esq., Assistant U.S. Attorney, James Wesley Hendrix, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas, Dallas, TX.

For Donshay Jones, Defendant - Appellant: Darren Robert Hatch, Reagan McLain & Hatch, L.L.P., Dallas, TX.

Before SMITH, ELROD, and HAYNES, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

JENNIFER WALKER ELROD, Circuit Judge:

Defendant-Appellant Donshay Jones pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 2119 and 2 and to one count of using, carrying, or brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A). Jones challenges the constitutionality of § 2119 as applied to him because, he argues, the vehicle he carjacked was removed from interstate commerce. Jones also argues that carjacking does not constitute a " crime of violence" under § 924(c)(1). Because the minimal interstate commerce nexus that our precedent requires for prosecution under § 2119 was satisfied and because carjacking is a " crime of violence" under § 924(c)(1), we AFFIRM the district court's judgment.

I

.

Defendant-Appellant Donshay Jones confronted a woman and her four-year-old son at gunpoint as they were walking from their vehicle to their apartment building late at night. Jones threatened to shoot the woman and her son if she did not give him everything she had in her possession. After the woman gave Jones her car keys, Jones and an accomplice entered the woman's vehicle and drove away. The next day, investigators located Jones and the accomplice along with the stolen vehicle. Jones and the accomplice were both arrested.

Jones was indicted on two counts: one count of carjacking in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 2119 and 2; and one count of using, carrying, or brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1). Jones filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, challenging the constitutionality of § 2119 and arguing that the vehicle he carjacked was removed from interstate commerce and therefore beyond the jurisdiction of federal law enforcement. The district court denied this motion. Jones later filed a second motion to dismiss, arguing that the carjacking statute is not a predicate " crime of violence" that could support a conviction under § 924(c). The district court denied this motion as well.

Jones ultimately pleaded guilty to both counts of the indictment while preserving his right to challenge the district court's denial of his two motions to dismiss. Jones stipulated that he committed the robbery, that he brandished a gun in the process, and that the stolen vehicle " was not manufactured in the State of Texas and had been shipped, transported, and received from another state prior to the carjacking." The district...

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