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Headrick v. United States

September 11, 2007


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Judge Curtis L. Collier


This matter comes before the Court on the motion of pro se petitioner Leon Headrick ("Petitioner") to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Court File Nos. 1, 2). Pursuant to the Court's Order (Court File No. 5), the United States filed a response (Court File No. 8) to which Petitioner filed a reply (Court File No. 13). The Court finds the materials thus submitted, together with the complete record of the underlying criminal case,*fn1 conclusively show Petitioner is not entitled to relief on the claims asserted in his petition. Accordingly, the Court will decide those matters without an evidentiary hearing, see United States v. Todaro, 982 F.2d 1025, 1028 (6th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 508 U.S. 943, 113 S.Ct. 2423, 124 L.Ed. 2d 644 (1993), and will DENY Petitioner's motion for the reasons stated herein.


On August 30, 2001, Chattanooga police officers, aided by members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, executed a state search warrant at a residence owned by Petitioner. Plea Agreement at 4 (Crim. Court File No. 65). When the warrant was executed the police found Petitioner coming up the stairs from the basement. Id. at 4. Petitioner had $3,089 on his person in cash. Id. An associate attempted to flee from the basement and out the garage. Id. The police discovered a methamphetamine laboratory and manufactory in the basement. Id.

The police recovered from the basement a loaded Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol with laser sight and an extra magazine, in addition to various apparatus, ingredients, and paraphernalia for the manufacture of methamphetamine. Id. at 4-5. These materials included hot plates, table salt, rock salt, scales, muriatic acid, condensers, a grinder, pseudoephedrine pills, red phosphorus, iodine, gloves, hoses, funnels, a gas mask, home-made gas generators, acetone, Red Devil Lye, empty containers of "HEET" gas line anti-freeze, and various glassware (some filled with suspected pseudoephedrine/ephedrine soaking in the liquids.) Id.

Upstairs, officers found a printed article concerning the manufacture of methamphetamine. Id. at 5. Officers discovered a loaded Jennings .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol, two shotguns, and a .22 caliber rifle in petitioner's bedroom. Id. In petitioner's bedroom there also was a small quantity of marijuana along with pseudoephedrine, meth pipes, and "HEET" gas line anti-freeze. Id.

On February 22, 2002, Petitioner pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) (Crim. Court File No. 64). Petitioner pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement (Crim. Court File Nos. 64, 65). Petitioner was sentenced on August 16, 2002, to a term of 120 months in custody, supervised release for five years, a $100 special assessment, and a $5,000 fine. (Crim. Court File No. 73).

Petitioner appealed, and Petitioner's sentence was affirmed on June 11, 2004. United States v. Headrick, 100 F. App'x 533 (6th Cir. 2004).

Now Petitioner seeks to have his sentence overturned based on review in this court under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Court File No. 1).


Section 2255 of Title 28 of the United States Code permits a prisoner in custody under sentence of a federal court to move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, correct, or set aside that sentence, on the grounds: the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack . . . .

28 U.S.C. § 2255. This Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Petitioner has the burden of establishing any claim asserted in the petition. See Bowers v. Battles, 568 F.2d 1, 5 (6th Cir. 1977); Mayes v. United States, 93 F. Supp. 2d 882, 886 (E.D. Tenn. 2000).

Where a constitutional error is alleged, in order to obtain relief under § 2255 the record must reflect a constitutional error of such magnitude it had a substantial and injurious effect or influence on the proceedings. See Brecht v. Abrahamson, 507 U.S. 619, 637-38, 113 S.Ct. 1710, 1721-22, 123 L.Ed. 2d 353 (1993); Watson v. United States, 165 F.3d 486, 488 (6th Cir. 1999). In order to prevail on a § 2255 motion alleging non-constitutional error, a petitioner must show a "fundamental defect in the proceedings which necessarily results in a complete miscarriage of justice or an egregious error violative of due process." Riggs v. United States, 209 F.3d 828, 831 (6th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 884, 121 S.Ct. 200, 148 L.Ed. 2d 140 (2000); Gall v. United States, 21 F.3d 107, 109 (6th Cir. 1994). Thus, "[a] motion brought under § 2255 must allege one of three bases as a threshold standard: (1) an error of ...

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