Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Jones

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

April 20, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
DONSHAY JONES, Defendant-Appellant.

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

          Before SMITH, ELROD, and HAYNES, Circuit Judges.

          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 court imposed a sentence of imprisonment for a term of 168 months. Jones has appealed both of the district court's orders denying his motions to dismiss the indictment.

         II.

         We review de novo a district court's denial of a defendant's motion to dismiss an indictment. United States v. Kay, 513 F.3d 432, 440 (5th Cir. 2007). We also review de novo the issue of whether a statute is unconstitutionally vague. United States v. Gonzalez-Longoria, 831 F.3d 670, 674 (5th Cir. 2016) (en banc) ("Whether a statute is unconstitutionally vague is a question of law, which we likewise review de novo.").

         III.

         Jones raises two arguments on appeal. First, Jones argues that the federal carjacking statute-18 U.S.C. §§ 2119-is unconstitutional as applied to him. Second, Jones argues that the definition of "crime of violence" under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3) is unconstitutionally vague and that carjacking does not otherwise qualify as a crime of violence. Neither of these arguments is persuasive.

         A.

         Jones contends that the carjacking statute is unconstitutional as applied to him because the stolen vehicle did not have a sufficient nexus to interstate commerce. Jones admits that the vehicle was manufactured in Michigan and transported to Texas in 2008, but he argues that because the vehicle had not left the state for over five years, no rational basis exists to conclude that the carjacking in this case substantially ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.