Defendant's armed robbery conviction and sentence are affirmed where: 1) the absence of defense counsel from a short pretrial conference at which the pre-existing trial date was confirmed and at which nothing else of substance happened did not constitute per se ineffective assistance; and 2) the sentencing court's incorporation of a "brandished" finding in the presentence report and the court's statement at sentencing that defendant had "turned and pointed the handgun at [the teller]," which was "an absolutely harrowing experience for the victims," sufficed to support application of the seven-year minimum sentence provided for in 18 U.S.C. section 924(c)(1)(A)(ii).
Argued and Submitted June 1, 2009
Filed August 3, 2009
Opinion by Judge Graber