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Jeffries v. United States

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

June 1, 2018

WILLIE LEE JEFFERIES, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          ORDER

          SAMUEL H. MAYS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Movant Willie Lee Jefferies's pro se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (“§ 2255 Motion”), filed on February 19, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) Jefferies challenges his sentence in Criminal No. 07-20380. The government responded on December 12, 2016. (ECF No. 11.)

         Also before the Court are Jefferies's two Motions Requesting Expedited Ruling (ECF Nos. 14, 15) and Motion to Supplement (ECF No. 7).

         For the following reasons, Jefferies's Motion to Supplement is GRANTED. Jefferies's § 2255 Motion is DENIED, and his Motions Requesting Expedited Ruling are DENIED AS MOOT.

         I. Background

         On October 20, 2008, Jefferies pled guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). (Cr. ECF No. 42; ECF No. 44.)[1] At Jefferies's sentencing on January 23, 2009, the Court determined that Jefferies was an armed career criminal under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) (the “ACCA”). (Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”) ¶ 21.) Jefferies had ten prior ACCA-predicate convictions: (1) Tennessee Shooting a Missile Calculated to Produce Death or Great Bodily Harm into an Occupied Dwelling in 1980; (2) Tennessee Assault to Murder in 1980; (3) Tennessee Shooting a Missile Calculated to Produce Death or Great Bodily Harm into an Occupied Dwelling in 1984; (4) Tennessee Attempt to Commit a Felony: Aggravated Assault in 1984; (5) Tennessee Larceny From a Person in 1988; (6) Tennessee Aggravated Assault in 1990; (7) Tennessee Criminal Attempt: Kidnapping in 1993; (8) Tennessee Aggravated Assault in 1995; (9) Tennessee Aggravated Assault in 1997; and (10) Tennessee Criminal Attempt: Aggravated Assault in 2005. (PSR ¶¶ 24, 25, 28, 30, 41, 45, 46, 49, 50, 55.) On January 23, 2009, the Court sentenced Jefferies to 188 months in prison. (Cr. ECF No. 47.) There was no direct appeal.

         On February 19, 2016, Jefferies filed this pro se § 2255 Motion. (ECF No. 1.) Relying on Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), in which the Supreme Court invalidated the residual clause of the ACCA as unconstitutionally vague, Jeffer-ies argues that he should not have been sentenced as an armed career criminal. (Id. at 4-5.)[2] Jefferies asks the Court to set aside his judgment and resentence him. (Id. at 14.)

         On August 25, 2016, Jefferies filed his Motion to Supplement. (ECF No. 7.) The Motion to Supplement restates the arguments in Jefferies's § 2255 Motion. The Motion to Supplement is GRANTED.

         On August 17, 2017, Jefferies filed a Motion Requesting Expedited Ruling. (ECF No. 14.) On March 1, 2018, Jefferies filed a second Motion Requesting Expedited Ruling. (ECF No. 15.)

         II. Timeliness

         Jefferies challenges his sentence based on Johnson, which provides a new rule of constitutional law made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review. Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2563; Welch v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 1257, 1268 (2016). Jefferies's § 2255 Motion alleges constitutional error that resulted in a sentence that now exceeds the statutory limits ap- plicable to his offense. Johnson was decided on June 26, 2015. Jefferies filed his § 2255 Motion on February 19, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) Jefferies filed his Motion within one year of Johnson. Jefferies' § 2255 Motion is timely. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(3).

         III. Analysis

         In Johnson, the Supreme Court held that a sentence imposed under the residual clause of the ACCA violates due process. 135 S.Ct. at 2563. In his § 2255 Motion, Jefferies argues that his “Aggravated Assault convictions do not qualify as Predicates for the purpose of ACCA enhancement.” (ECF No. 1 at 4.) Jefferies contends that he should be resentenced because, after Johnson, he no longer has at least three prior ACCA-predicate convictions and, therefore, is no longer an armed career criminal. (Id. at 14.)

         A. 1980 Tennessee Shooting a Missile Calculated to Produce Death or Great Bodily Harm into an Occupied Dwelling, 1980 Tennessee Assault to Murder, 1984 Tennessee Shooting a Missile Calculated to Produce Death or Great Bodily Harm into an Occupied Dwelling, and 1988 Tennessee Larceny From a Person

         The Government concedes that, although “[Jefferies] has not challenged any of his non-aggravated assault convictions, ” four of his prior convictions no longer qualify as violent felonies under the ACCA. (ECF No. 11 at 35.) Jefferies's 1980 conviction for Tennessee Shooting a Missile Calculated to Produce Death or Great Bodily Harm into an Occupied Dwelling, 1980 con- viction for Tennessee Assault to Murder, 1984 conviction for Tennessee Shooting a Missile Calculated to Produce Death or Great Bodily Harm into an Occupied Dwelling, and 1988 conviction for Tennessee Larceny From a Person are no longer violent felonies under the ACCA.

         B. 1990 Tennessee Aggravated Assault and 1997 Tennessee Aggravated Assault

         Jefferies contends that “his prior [Tennessee] convictions for Aggravated Assault no longer qualify as predicates for the ACCA, because the Residual Clause has been ruled unconstitutionally vague.” (ECF No. 1 at 4.) The Government argues that both convictions remain violent felonies after Johnson because the Shepard ...


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