Submitted: January 11, 2016
from United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri - Cape Girardeau
WOLLMAN, MELLOY, and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges.
WOLLMAN, Circuit Judge.
R. Clayton appeals the sentence imposed by the district
court after he pleaded guilty to bank robbery,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a), (d), and 18 U.S.C.
§ 2; to brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a bank
robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1) and
2; and to being a felon in possession of a firearm, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). We affirm.
October 8, 2013, Clayton and two accomplices, Candice Wright
and Joshua Thompson, traveled from Indiana to the home of
another accomplice, Alisha Porter, in Oran, Missouri. The
following day, Clayton, Thompson, and Wright drove
Porter's car to Morley, Missouri, to reconnoiter the
First Commercial Bank and its surrounding area. Afterward,
the group returned to Porter's home, where the four
agreed on a plan to rob the First Commercial Bank. On October
10, 2013, the group drove back to the bank in two cars.
Clayton and Thompson approached the rear entrance of the bank
as it was about to open while Porter, the getaway driver, and
Wright, the lookout, waited in their designated locations
nearby. A bank employee was unlocking the rear door when
Clayton ran up to her, pointed a handgun at her head,
threatened to shoot her if she did not cooperate, and ordered
her to open the door and turn off the alarm. Once inside the
bank, Clayton continued to threaten the employee and point
the gun at her head, while Thompson took $140, 014 from the
vault and the employee's teller drawer. Before leaving
the bank, Clayton and Thompson bound the employee's hands
behind her back and left her sitting on the floor.
his arrest in Ohio on October 16, 2013, Clayton was charged
in a four-count indictment, which included the three counts
set forth above and one count of conspiracy to commit bank
robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a) and
371. Clayton entered into a plea agreement under which the
government agreed to dismiss the conspiracy charge.
presentence investigation report (PSR) initially calculated a
combined advisory sentencing range of 168 to 210 months'
imprisonment for the armed-bank-robbery and
felon-in-possession-of-a-firearm offenses. But because the
fifteen-year statutory minimum sentence for the
felon-in-possession-of-a-firearm charge under 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(e) was greater than 168 months, the advisory
sentencing range became 180 to 210 months' imprisonment.
The PSR next incorporated Clayton's offense of
brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a bank robbery, which
carried a statutory minimum sentence of seven years'
imprisonment, to be served consecutively to his other
sentences. The seven-year term was added to the sentencing
range, resulting in an effective advisory sentencing range of
264 to 294 months' imprisonment.
revealed that Clayton's first conviction was at age
twelve for armed disorderly conduct and that he had
accumulated four juvenile convictions for violent or
weapons-related crimes. As an adult, he had been convicted
of, among other offenses, burglary, auto theft, attempted
armed robbery, resisting a peace officer, and intimidation
with a dangerous weapon.
recounted Clayton's traumatic childhood, in which, among
other deprivations, he received little support or supervision
from his family and was subjected to both physical and
emotional abuse, which included witnessing as a ten-year-old
his mother being repeatedly physically abused by her
boyfriend. Clayton had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Intermittent Explosive
Disorder, Mild Mental Retardation, Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder, and Environmental Disorder. He left school because
of lack of interest after completing the ninth grade.
raised no objections to the PSR's sentencing
calculations, but requested the statutory minimum sentence of
264 months' imprisonment, pointing to his traumatic
childhood and arguing that the minimum sentence would keep
him in prison until he was nearly sixty years old and thus
would be sufficient to accomplish the goals of sentencing.
district court sentenced Clayton to a term of 279 months'
imprisonment, the middle of the Guidelines range. In doing
so, the district court noted that this sentence was shorter
than the high end of the Guidelines range that it had
initially intended to impose, saying, "I'm willing
to give you a little bit of relief, but it's solely
because of your upbringing. . . . [T]he presentence is very
revealing that, you know, you didn't have much of a
chance." The district court noted that the factors
weighing in favor of a longer sentence included Clayton's
criminal history and the "aggravating circumstances of
the offense, " but that it "cut it back to the
middle of the guidelines [because of your] difficult
argues that the district court procedurally erred and that
the sentence imposed was substantively unreasonable. We
review the reasonableness of the sentence by first ensuring
"that the district court committed no significant
procedural error." Gall v. United States, 552
U.S. 38, 51 (2007). We then "consider the substantive
reasonableness of the sentence imposed under an
abuse-of-discretion standard." Id. Because
Clayton did not object at sentencing, we review his