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Shropshire v. United States

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

December 4, 2019

DAVID SHROPSHIRE, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          Christopher H. Steger, Magistrate Judge

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          TRAVIS R. MCDONOUGH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Petitioner David Shropshire's motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence filed pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 2255 (Doc. 1 in No. 1:19-cv-195; Doc. 267 in No. 1:02-cr-72). For the following reasons, Petitioner's motion will be DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In 2002, Petitioner pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(e), and to Hobbs Act Robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951. (See Doc. 246 in No. 1:02-cr-72.)[1] Based on prior convictions for first-degree murder, aggravated assault, and attempted carjacking, Petitioner was subject to a fifteen-year-mandatory-minimum sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) in connection with the felon-in-possession offense. (Id. at 3.) United States District Court Judge Curtis Collier calculated Petitioner's guideline sentencing range as 188 to 235 months' imprisonment and sentenced him to concurrent terms of 211 months' imprisonment as to each count of conviction, followed by five years of supervised release. (Id.) The Sixth Circuit affirmed Petitioner's convictions and sentence. (Doc. 149 in No. 1:02-cr-72.)

         After the United States Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), Petitioner moved to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence, arguing his prior conviction for attempted carjacking no longer qualified as a predicate offense and that he no longer qualified as an armed career criminal under Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(e). (Doc. 246, at 3, in No. 1:02-cr-72.) The Court granted Petitioner's motion, calculated his new guideline range as 151 to 188 months' imprisonment, and reduced his sentence to “time served, ”[2] noting that he had already served at least 170 months in prison.[3] (Id.) The Court also reduced Petitioner's term of supervised release to three years and denied his request to terminate his supervised release. (Id.)

         On April 20, 2017, Petitioner began his term of supervised release. (Id.) Based on multiple violations of his conditions of supervised release, the Court held a hearing on January 12, 2018, on whether it should revoke Petitioner's supervised release. (Id. at 4.) At the hearing, Petitioner admitted to violating the conditions of his supervised release but argued he should not be incarcerated for those violations because he had already overserved the ten-year statutory maximum non-ACCA sentence on his felon-in-possession charge. (Id.) Petitioner also argued that, because he had been incarcerated longer than the non-ACCA statutory maximum sentence, he should receive credit against any sentence imposed for supervised release violations, along with immediate termination of his supervised release. (Id.) The Court disagreed, finding that Petitioner had not served any excess time, because he was also subject to a concurrent sentence for Hobbs Act robbery, which carried a statutory maximum sentence of twenty years. (Id. at 5.) The Court ultimately revoked Petitioner's supervised release and sentenced him to five months' incarceration, followed by two years of supervised release. (Id.)

         Petitioner appealed the Court's revocation sentence to the Sixth Circuit, which affirmed the revocation sentence as reasonable. (Id.) In affirming the Court's revocation sentence, the Sixth Circuit explained that, “even if [Petitioner] had exceeded the statutory maximum for his crimes, . . . he provides no legal authority supporting the proposition that a district court can or must credit excess time served when determining supervised release.” (Id. at 8.)

         In April 2018, Petitioner completed the custodial portion of his first revocation sentence. (See Doc. 248 in No. 1:02-cr-72.) However, upon release, Petitioner again violated the conditions of his supervised release. (See id.) Petitioner again admitted to violations of the conditions of supervised release and negotiated an agreed revocation sentence of six months' incarceration, followed by twelve months of supervised release. (Doc. 264 in No. 1:02-cr-72.) The Court accepted the agreement and entered a revocation judgment in May 2019. (Id.)

         On June 27, 2019, Petitioner filed the instant motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 2255. (Doc. 1 in No. 1:19-cv-195.) Petitioner's motion is now ripe for the Court's review.

         II. STANDARD OF LAW

         To obtain relief under Title 28, United States Code, Section 2255, a petitioner must demonstrate “(1) an error of constitutional magnitude; (2) a sentence imposed outside the statutory limits; or (3) an error of fact or law . . . so fundamental as to render the entire proceeding invalid.” Short v. United States, 471 F.3d 686, 691 (6th Cir. 2006) (quoting Mallett v. United States, 334 F.3d 491, 496-97 (6th Cir. 2003)). He “must clear a significantly higher hurdle than would exist on direct appeal” and establish a “fundamental defect in the proceedings which necessarily results in a complete miscarriage of justice or an egregious error violative of due process.” Fair v. United States, 157 F.3d 427, 430 (6th Cir. 1998).

         In ruling on a motion made pursuant to § 2255, the Court must also determine whether an evidentiary hearing is necessary. “An evidentiary hearing is required unless the record conclusively shows that the petitioner is entitled to no relief.” Martin v. United States, 889 F.3d 827, 832 (6th Cir. 2018) (quoting Campbell v. United States, 686 F.3d 353, 357 (6th Cir. 2012)); see also 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). “The burden for establishing entitlement to an evidentiary hearing is relatively light, and where there is a factual dispute, the habeas court must hold an evidentiary hearing to determine the truth of the petitioner's claims.” Martin, 889 F.3d at 832 (internal quotation marks omitted). While a petitioner's “mere assertion of innocence” does not entitle him to an evidentiary hearing, the district court cannot forego an evidentiary hearing unless “the petitioner's allegations cannot be accepted as true because they are contradicted by the record, inherently incredible, or conclusions rather than statements of fact.” Id. When petitioner's factual narrative of the events is not contradicted by the record and not inherently incredible and the government offers nothing more than contrary representations, the petitioner is entitled to an evidentiary hearing. Id.

         III. ...


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