United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Cookeville Division
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are the Petitioner's Motion To Vacate,
Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence In Accordance With 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 (Doc. No. 1), the Petitioner's Supplemental
Brief (Doc. No. 7), and the Government's Response (Doc.
No. 10). For the reasons set forth herein, the
Petitioner's Motion To Vacate, Set Aside, Or Correct
Sentence In Accordance With 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Doc. No.
1) is GRANTED. The Petitioner will be re-sentenced by
separate order in Criminal Case No. 2:10-cr-00015.
Procedural and Factual Background
underlying criminal case, the Petitioner pled guilty, before
Judge Nixon, to three counts of unlawful possession of a
firearm by a convicted felon. (Doc. Nos. 51, 52 in Case No.
2:10cr00015). Through the Plea Agreement, the Petitioner
acknowledged that he had three or more prior convictions for
violent offenses and that he was subject to sentencing as an
Armed Career Criminal. (Doc. No. 52, at 15, in Case No.
2:10cr00015). The Plea Agreement also contemplated
cooperation by the Petitioner potentially leading to a motion
by the Government for a reduced sentence for substantial
assistance. (Id., at 10-14). At the subsequent
sentencing hearing, on March 8, 2012, the parties jointly
recommended imposition of the mandatory minimum statutory
sentence for an Armed Career Criminal of 180 months of
imprisonment, and Judge Nixon adopted that recommendation.
(Doc. Nos. 100, 101, 102, 108 in Case No. 2:10cr00015). The
record reveals that no appeal was filed.
The Section 2255 Remedy
U.S.C. Section 2255 provides federal prisoners with a
statutory mechanism by which to seek to have their sentence
vacated, set aside or corrected:
(a) 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).
order to obtain relief under Section 2255, the petitioner
must demonstrate constitutional error that had a
“‘substantial and injurious effect or influence
on the guilty plea or the jury's verdict.'”
Hamblen v. United States, 591 F.3d 471, 473 (6th
Cir. 2009)(quoting Griffin v. United States, 330
F.3d 733, 736 (6th Cir. 2003)).
court should hold an evidentiary hearing in a Section 2255
proceeding where a factual dispute arises, unless the
petitioner's allegations “‘cannot be accepted
as true because they are contradicted by the record,
inherently incredible, or [are] conclusions rather than
statements of fact.'” Ray v. United
States, 721 F.3d 758, 761 (6th Cir. 2013)(quoting
Arredondo v. United States, 178 F.3d 778, 782
(6th Cir. 1999)). In addition, no hearing is
required where “the record conclusively shows that the
petitioner is entitled to no relief.”
Arredondo, 178 F.3d at 782 (quoting Blanton v.
United States, 94 F.3d 227, 235 (6th Cir.
1996)). See also Fifer v. United States, 660
F.App'x 358, 359 (6th Cir. Aug. 22, 2016).
reviewed the pleadings, briefs and records filed in
Petitioner's underlying criminal case, as well as the
pleadings, briefs and records filed in this case, the Court
finds that it need not hold an evidentiary hearing in this
case to resolve the Petitioner's claims. The record
conclusively establishes that the Petitioner is entitled to
relief on his claims for the reasons set forth herein.
Petitioner's Status as an ...