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Byrd v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga

July 10, 2019

DAMEON BYRD, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HARRY S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Federal inmate Dameon Byrd has filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Respondent has filed a response in opposition to the motion. Having considered the pleadings and the record, along with the relevant law, the Court finds that there is no necessity for an evidentiary hearing[1], and Byrd's § 2255 motion will be denied.

         I. BACKGROUND FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In March 2014, Byrd pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(D), and possessing a firearm and ammunition as a felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) [Doc. 42 in 1:13-CR-50]. Byrd had a prior Tennessee conviction for aggravated burglary, which was classified as a “crime of violence” and subjected Byrd to an enhanced offense level of 20 under United States Sentencing Guideline (“Guideline(s)”) § 2K2.1 [Doc. 32 ¶¶ 22, 48 in 1:13-CR-50]. After a four-level enhancement because the firearm had an obliterated serial number, a four-level enhancement because Byrd possessed the firearm in connection with his drug distribution offense, and a three-level reduction for acceptance of responsibility, Byrd's total offense level was 25 [Id. at ¶¶ 23-24, 32-34]. Byrd's 18 criminal history points yielded a criminal history category of VI and a Guideline range of 110 to 137 months' imprisonment [Id. at ¶¶ 53, 74]. The Court sentenced Byrd to 130 months' imprisonment [Doc. 42 in 1:13-CR-50].

         Byrd did not appeal his conviction or sentence. In 2016, Byrd filed a § 2255 motion that he later sought to voluntarily dismiss [Docs. 46, 53 in 1:13-CR-50]. The Court dismissed that action without prejudice [Doc. 54 in 1:13-CR-50].

         Thereafter, in June 2017, Byrd filed the instant § 2255 motion alleging that his Tennessee aggravated burglary conviction is not a “crime of violence” after the Supreme Court's decision in Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016) [Docs. 1 & 2], and thus, he should not have been subject to the § 2K2.1 enhancement. The United States was ordered to respond to Byrd's allegations, and it did so by filing its response on March 11, 2019, arguing that the motion is untimely and otherwise without merit [Doc. 7].

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         After a defendant has been convicted and exhausted his appeal rights, a court may presume that “he stands fairly and finally convicted.” United States v. Frady, 456 U.S. 152, 164 (1982). A court may grant relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, but the statute “does not encompass all claimed errors in conviction and sentencing.” United States v. Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178, 185 (1979). Rather, collateral attack limits a movant's allegations to those of constitutional or jurisdictional magnitude, or those containing factual or legal errors “so fundamental as to render the entire proceeding invalid.” Short v. United States, 471 F.3d 686, 691 (6th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted); see also 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Timeliness

A one-year limitation period applies to § 2255 motions, and it runs from the latest of:
(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively ...

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