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Weaver v. United States

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

June 1, 2017

BRIAN EDWIN WEAVER, Petitioner
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM

          ALETA A.TRAUGER U.S. District Judge.

         I. Introduction

         Pending before the court are the Petitioner's pro se Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 To Vacate, Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence (Docket No. 1) and supporting briefs (Docket Nos. 7, 8, 14, 33); an Amended Motion To Vacate, Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence (Docket No. 39), filed by counsel for the Petitioner; and the Government's Responses (Docket No. 31, 43).

         By Order entered December 7, 2016 (Docket No. 46), now-retired Judge John T. Nixon ordered that this case be held in abeyance pending the Supreme Court's decision in Beckles v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2510 (2016). This case was subsequently randomly reassigned to the undersigned Judge. The Supreme Court issued its decision in Beckles v. United States, U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 886, 891, 197 L.Ed.2d 145 (2017) on March 6, 2017. Thus, the Petitioner's claims are ripe for decision.

         For the reasons set forth herein, the Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 To Vacate, Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence (Docket No. 1) and the Amended Motion To Vacate, Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence (Docket No. 39) are DENIED, and this action is DISMISSED.

         II. Procedural Background

         The Petitioner pled guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924; possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). (Docket Nos. 19, 20, 33 in Case No. 3:12cr00180). Through their Plea Agreement, the Government and the Petitioner agreed to a total sentence of 64 months of imprisonment and the Petitioner acknowledged that he had a prior October 15, 2009 conviction for Evading Arrest in Hardin County, Tennessee, Case #8999. (Id.) At the subsequent sentencing hearing, on June 17, 2013, Judge Nixon imposed the agreed 64-month sentence. (Docket Nos. 27, 28, 29, 31, 32 in Case No. 3:12cr00180). The record indicates that no appeal was taken.

         III. Analysis

         A. 28 U.S.C. § 2255

         The Petitioner has brought this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Section 2255 provides a statutory mechanism for challenging the imposition of a federal sentence:

A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground that 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, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.

28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). In order to obtain relief under Section 2255, a petitioner “‘ must demonstrate the existence of an error of constitutional magnitude which had a substantial and injurious effect or influence on the guilty plea or the jury's verdict.'” Humphress v. United States, 398 F.3d 855, 858 (6th Cir. 2005)(quoting Griffin v. United States, 330 F.3d 733, 736 (6th Cir. 2003)).

         If a factual dispute arises in a § 2255 proceeding, the court is to hold an evidentiary hearing to resolve the dispute. Ray v. United States, 721 F.3d 758, 761 (6th Cir. 2013). An evidentiary hearing is not required, however, if the record conclusively shows that the petitioner is not entitled to relief. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b); Ray, 721 F.3d at 761; Arredondo v. United States, 178 F.3d 778, 782 (6th Cir. 1999). A hearing is also unnecessary “if the petitioner's allegations ‘cannot be accepted as true because they are contradicted by the record, inherently incredible, or conclusions rather than statements of fact.'” Id.

         Having reviewed the pleadings, briefs, and records filed in the Petitioner's underlying criminal case, as well as the filings in this case, the court finds it unnecessary to hold an evidentiary hearing because the records conclusively ...


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