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Jones v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

November 8, 2017




         Before the Court is Movant Jabril Jones's Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody (the “§ 2255 Motion”). (§ 2255 Mot., ECF No. 1.) Also before the Court are Jones's six supplements and amendments to his original § 2255 Motion, filed without leave (ECF Nos. 7, 9, 18-19, 21-22); Jones's three motions to amend his original § 2255 Motion (ECF Nos. 12, 15-16); and Jones's motion for relief from judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) (ECF No. 14).

         For the following reasons, the § 2255 Motion is DENIED. Jones's request for relief under Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), motions to amend, and motion for relief under Rule 60(b) are also DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On September 30, 2009, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Jones with one count of knowingly possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding on year, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). (Indictment, Cr. ECF No. 1.)[1] The factual basis for that charge is stated in the Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”):

The Offense Conduct
4. On Friday July 3, 2009, John Novotny was walking eastbound on Brooklyn Street in Memphis, Tennessee, when a male armed with a chrome revolver came up from behind him and stated "drop it off." Novotny turned around and observed he was being threatened at gunpoint. Novotny stated he did not have any money and the male threatened to shoot him. Novotny tried to run away and threw two liquor bottles at the male suspect who then shot Novotny in the back and fled the scene. Novotny was transported to the MED in critical condition. Upon further investigation, Jabril Sidney Jones was developed as a suspect. Investigating officers went to 1227 Garfield and made contact with Geneva Smith who was Jones' girlfriend. Smith advised that Jones was hiding in the rear of the home, but upon searching, officers were unable to locate Jones who had fled out the back door. Upon questioning, Geneva Smith reported that Jabril Jones came home and stated "I fucked up, I fucked up." Jones told her that he tried to rob a man and ended up shooting him because he had a bottle and attempted to throw it at him. Smith indicated that she knew Jones to have a .40 caliber and a revolver. She reported that Jones had indicated he was going to attempt to retrieve or destroy the video from a convenience store where he first observed the victim with money.
5. On Saturday, July 4, 2009, John Novotny positively identified Jabril Sidney Jones from a photo lineup as the person responsible for the shooting. Police officers returned to 1227 Garfield to locate Jones. Officers made contact with Geneva Smith, and discovered that Jabril Jones was hiding in the attic. After several minutes of talking with Jones, officers finally convinced him to come down from the attic and he was taken into custody without incident. After taking Jones into custody, officers searched the residence and found a silver/chrome Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver and 27 .38 caliber rounds of ammunition hidden in the lining of the couch. Geneva Smith told officers that the .38 caliber revolver belonged to Jones who had put it in the couch.
6. A federal agent subsequently examined the Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver (serial #58084) which was recovered from the couch at 1227 Garfield on July 4, 2010. The agent determined that the revolver had not been manufactured in the State of Tennessee. It was further confirmed that Jabril Jones had a conviction for a felony prior to July 3, 2000.

(PSR ¶¶ 4-6.)

         On September 15, 2010, a jury convicted Jones of violating 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). (Cr. ECF No. 34.) At sentencing, the Court determined that Jones's base offense level was 37 and his criminal history category was IV. (See PSR ¶ 60.) Jones was sentenced to the statutory maximum of 120 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. (Judgment, Cr. ECF No. 46.)

         On April 22, 2016, Jones filed a notice of appeal. (Cr. ECF No. 63.) On April 28, 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dismissed Jones's appeal as untimely. (Cr. ECF No. 64 at 111.)

         On September 19, 2016, Jones filed this § 2255 Motion. (ECF No. 1.) Jones filed supplements without leave on October 11, 2016 (ECF No. 7) and November 4, 2016 (ECF No. 9).

         On November 7, 2016, the Court directed the Government to respond to Jones's § 2255 Motion. (ECF No. 10.) The Government filed its response on November 9, 2016. (ECF No. 11.)

         On November 14, 2016, Jones filed a motion to amend. (ECF No. 12.) On November 21, 2016, Jones filed a motion for relief from judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). (ECF No. 14.) The same day, Jones filed a notice of amendment. (ECF No. 15.) On November 28, 2017, Jones filed a second notice of amendment. (ECF No. 16.) The Court construes Jones's notices of amendment as motions to amend.

         On December 7, 2016, Jones filed a reply to the Government's response to his § 2255 Motion. (ECF No. 17.)

         Jones filed two affidavits: one on April 24, 2017 and the other on April 26, 2017. (ECF Nos. 18-19.) He filed supplemental arguments on May 16, 2017 (ECF No. 21), and on May 18, 2016 (ECF No. 22).


         A. Section 2255 Motion

         Jones seeks relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (§ 2255 Mot.) Under § 2255(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 sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law . . . may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.

28 U.S.C. § 2255(a).

         “To succeed on a § 2255 motion, a prisoner in custody must show ‘(1) an error of constitutional magnitude; (2) a sentence imposed outside the statutory limits; or (3) an error of fact or law that was so fundamental as to render the entire proceeding invalid.'” McPhearson v. United States, 675 F.3d 553, 558-59 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting Mallett v. United States, 334 F.3d 491, 496-97 (6th Cir. 2003)).

         A prisoner must file his § 2255 motion within one ...

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