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Tabor v. United States

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

October 4, 2017

JAMES TROY TABOR, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR, Chief United States 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 (Doc. Nos. 1, 2); a Notice Of Intent To Rely On Pro Se Pleading (Doc. No. 10), filed by counsel for the Petitioner; and the Government's Response (Doc. No. 13). For the reasons set forth herein, the Petitioner's Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 To Vacate, Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence (Doc. Nos. 1, 2) is DENIED, and this action is DISMISSED.

         II. Procedural and Factual Background

          The Petitioner pled guilty, before now-retired Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., to Count Ten of the Indictment in his underlying criminal case, which alleged that the Petitioner used, carried, brandished, and discharged firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A). (Doc. Nos. 3, 304, 367, 403 in Case No. 2:11cr00001). The “drug trafficking crime” identified in Count Ten was conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, a quantity of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846. (Id.) Through the Plea Agreement, the parties agreed to a sentence of 300 months of imprisonment, and the Government agreed to dismiss the remaining nine counts at sentencing. (Doc. No. 367, at 2, 6, in Case No. 2:11cr00001). At the subsequent sentencing hearing, on July 13, 2012, Judge Haynes imposed the agreed 300-month sentence. (Doc. Nos. 361, 368, 369 in Case No. 2:11cr00001). The record reveals that no appeal was taken.

         III. Analysis

         A. The Petitioner's Claims

         The Petitioner contends that his conviction and sentence should be vacated because he received the ineffective assistance of counsel.

         B. The Section 2255 Remedy

          28 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).

         In 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)).

         The 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 ...


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