Argued: September 21, 2016
from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia, at Newport News. Rebecca Beach Smith,
Chief District Judge. (4:12-cr-00105-RBS-LRL-1;
C. Kamens, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Alexandria,
Virginia, for Appellant.
Richard Daniel Cooke, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY,
Richmond, Virginia, for Appellee.
E. Andrussier, Daniel Driscoll, Student, Will Fox, Student,
Ryan Weiss, Student, DUKE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, Durham,
North Carolina, for Appellant.
J. Boente, United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED
STATES ATTORNEY, Alexandria, Virginia, for Appellee.
GREGORY, Chief Judge, and NIEMEYER and HARRIS, Circuit
by published opinion. Chief Judge Gregory wrote the opinion,
in which Judge Niemeyer and Judge Harris joined.
GREGORY, Chief Judge.
Court issued a certificate of appealability ("COA")
in this matter to permit Appellant Lamar Richard Lee, a
federal prisoner, to challenge the district court's
denial of his motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. After
holding this case in abeyance pending the Supreme Court's
decision in Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886
(2017), we now affirm the district court's judgment.
March 18, 2013, Lee pled guilty to three counts of possession
with intent to distribute cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin
in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C), and
one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2).
Prior to sentencing, the U.S. Probation Office prepared a
presentence report ("PSR") finding that, because of
Lee's 2008 Virginia convictions for unlawful wounding and
for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, he
qualified for a sentence enhancement as a "career
offender" under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines § 4B1.1.
Lee's trial counsel made no objections to the sentencing
factors in the PSR. On June 14, 2013, the district court
sentenced Lee as a career offender and imposed an enhanced
sentence of 188 months' imprisonment.
appealed his sentence, in part to challenge the
reasonableness of his sentence. This Court affirmed the
sentence, concluding that "the district court accurately
calculated the applicable Guidelines range and did not commit
procedural error when sentencing Lee." United States
v. Lee, 559 F.App'x 251, 252 (4th Cir. 2014). Lee
later filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate,
set aside, or correct his sentence. Lee asserted that his
trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective because,
during the sentencing hearing, his counsel failed to
challenge the district court's determination of his
career offender status. Lee specifically argued that his
unlawful wounding conviction did not qualify as a "crime
of violence" under § 4B1.2 of the Guidelines. The
district court denied Lee's ...