Submitted: June 14, 2016
from United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri - St. Louis
SMITH and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges, and KETCHMARK,  District
A. Scott was charged in a nine-count federal
indictment. He pleaded guilty to Counts VI-IX but
proceeded to a bench trial on Counts I-V. The district
court found him guilty of all counts, and, based
on Counts I-IX, sentenced him to 768 months'
imprisonment. Scott appeals, arguing that (1) there is not
sufficient evidence to sustain the verdict of the bench
trial, (2) his sentence violates the Eighth Amendment, and
(3) the district court imposed a substantively unreasonable
sentence. We affirm.
recite the evidence in the light most favorable to the
verdict. See United States v. Stevens, 439 F.3d 983,
986 (8th Cir. 2006). On August 27, 2011, an individual
approached Garrett Davis's red Chevrolet Lumina. The
individual pointed a handgun at Davis and threatened to kill
Davis if he did not get out of the car. Once Davis had
exited, the individual ordered Davis to turn over his
earring, money, and cell phone. At the same time, the
individual intensified his demands by cycling the action on
the handgun, causing the chambered round to eject, and again
pointed the gun again at Davis. Davis described the gun as a
black, .40 caliber automatic pistol with an extended
magazine. The individual then directed an accomplice
who had been hiding behind a dumpster to get into Davis's
car and drive off. The individual followed the car, keeping
the gun pointed at Davis as he left.
called the police. Officer Ishmael Tyson of the St. Louis
Metropolitan Police Department (SLPD) responded to
Davis's call. Davis provided Officer Tyson with a
"pretty good description" of the two carjackers. At
trial, Davis identified Carris King as the individual with
the handgun. Davis described King's accomplice as an
African-American male who was a "little taller, "
"heavier, " and "darker" complected than
King. He also described the accomplice as having a mustache,
goatee, and a little beard and wearing a dark-colored shirt.
At the scene, Officer Tyson recovered a live Winchester .40
caliber cartridge that had been ejected when King
"racked" the gun.
than an hour after the Davis carjacking, William and Johnetta
Smith were getting into their Dodge Caravan when two
individuals in a red Lumina pulled up beside their van. Mrs.
Smith was in the driver's seat, and Mr. Smith was in the
front passenger seat. The passenger of the Lumina, who Mr.
Smith later identified as King, asked Mrs. Smith for
directions to I-70. King and the driver then exited the
Lumina. The driver approached Mrs. Smith, and King approached
Mr. Smith. The driver pointed a gun at Mrs. Smith and ordered
her to get out of the van. At the same time, King told Mr.
Smith to get out and turn over any money. The driver then got
into the van and drove away. King followed in the Lumina.
trial, Mr. Smith testified that he could see the driver
"very clearly" and described the driver as taller,
heavier, and darker complected than King. Mr. Smith also
described the driver as having a beard and wearing a
dark-colored shirt. Although the driver was on the other side
of the van and closer to his wife, Mr. Smith stated that he
was focused on his wife throughout the ordeal. The driver had
a gun pointed at her head and Mr. Smith "was afraid for
her health" and "didn't want her to get
hurt." He described the gun that the driver had as a
long after the Smith carjacking, Detective Thomas Mayer, an
SLPD officer, encountered the Lumina and began to pursue it.
King eventually lost control of the Lumina and crashed.
Detective Mayer stated that he got a "good look" at
the two occupants of the Lumina. At trial, he identified King
as the driver of the Lumina. Detective Mayer exited his squad
car, commanding King and his accomplice to show him their
hands and exit the vehicle. Both King and his accomplice, who
were armed, disobeyed Detective Mayer and tried to flee on
foot. Detective Mayer fired two shots, causing the accomplice
to drop his weapon inside the Lumina as he fled. King kept
his weapon, but Detective Mayer saw it and described it as a
"dark-colored semi-automatic pistol." Detective
Mayer was unable to apprehend King or his accomplice.
enforcement searched the Lumina and recovered a dark-colored
Glock Model 27, .40 caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic
pistol on the front passenger seat. It had one round in the
chamber and seven rounds in an extended magazine. Officer
Mayer identified the Glock as the same firearm that he saw
the accomplice drop into the front passenger seat of the
Lumina before fleeing. At trial, Mr. Smith testified that the
Glock "look[ed] exactly like" the handgun that the
driver had pointed at Mrs. Smith. Davis also identified the
Glock as the same firearm that King had pointed at him. The
search of the Lumina also turned up a key to the Smiths'
home and van as well as a container of change and cassette
tapes that had been in the Smiths' van. An evidence
technician officer lifted latent fingerprints from the
passenger door of the Lumina and from the cassette tapes. Law
enforcement found the Smiths' van abandoned about a mile
from their residence.
enforcement apprehended King later that day after receiving
information of his involvement in the carjackings. Scott was
not arrested for another two years. Detective Mayer explained
that when presented with interview opportunities, he would
ask individuals about unsolved crimes, including the Davis
and Smith carjackings. Detective Mayer testified that in
August 2013, an interviewee with knowledge of the carjackings
gave him Scott's name. This individual told Detective
Mayer that Scott participated in the Davis and Smith
Mayer entered Scott's name into a computer database,
pulled up a photograph of him, and recognized him as the
passenger in the Lumina that he had pursued. He then entered
Scott's physical characteristics into the Regional
Justice Information System (REJIS). The REJIS assembled a
panel of five individuals with similar physical
characteristics to Scott and prepared a photographic lineup
of those five individuals and Scott. The REJIS randomly
positioned Scott's photograph in the lineup. Detective
Mayer met with the Smiths to present the photographic lineup.
He separated the Smiths, presenting the lineup to them
individually. Detective Mayer explained to both of the Smiths
that "the individual responsible for your crime may or
may not be in these photographs, and you are under no
obligation to make a selection just from these six."
Mrs. Smith did not hesitate in identifying Scott. Detective
Mayer testified that when Mrs. Smith saw Scott's
photograph, she "became extremely distraught like it
brought back all the memories." Detective Mayer
presented the lineup to Mr. Smith in a separate room, and he
identified Scott with certainty.
enforcement arrested Scott on August 16, 2013. Detective
Mayer informed him that his arrest was related to the Davis
and Smith carjackings. Scott responded, "I knew this
shit was going to catch up to me" and "I thought
you all forgot about it already." Law enforcement also
matched Scott's fingerprints with the fingerprints lifted
from the Lumina. Scott waived his Miranda rights and
agreed to talk. He admitted to being with King joyriding in a
red Lumina the morning of August 27, 2011, but he disclaimed
any responsibility for the carjackings. At the time, Scott
was released pending trial on Counts ...