United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court upon Petitioner Donnell
Alexander Taylor's Rule 59(e) Motion to Reconsider
dismissal of his pro se 28 U.S.C. § 2255 Motion to
Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence and denial of his
“Motion to Supplement” his § 2255 Motion to
Vacate. (Doc. No. 8.). Also before the Court are three
motions to supplement the Motion to Reconsider. (Doc. Nos. 9,
December 4, 2006, a federal jury convicted Taylor of
possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and aiding
and abetting the same, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), 851 and 18 U.S.C. § 2 (Count One); possession
of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking
crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (Count Two),
and possession of a firearm by a felon, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 922(g) (Count Three). Verdict, Doc.
Prior to sentencing, a presentence report (“PSR”)
was prepared using the 2006 United States Sentencing
Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.”) Manual, and the probation
officer concluded Taylor qualified for an enhanced sentence
as a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1. PSR, Doc.
69 ¶¶ 20, 32, 34-35. According to the PSR, Taylor
qualified as a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1,
based on his prior North Carolina convictions for Assault
with Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury
(“AWDWISI”), Possession With Intent to
Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Marijuana, and Possession With
Intent to Sell and Deliver Cocaine. Id. at ¶
probation officer calculated a guidelines sentencing range of
420 months to life in prison for all three counts.
Id. at ¶ 64. The statutory term of imprisonment
for Count One was 120 months to life in prison, while Count
Two carried a mandatory consecutive sentence of at least five
years. Id. The statutory term for Count Three was a
maximum of 10 years. Id.
Court sentenced Taylor to 480-month and 120-month concurrent
prison terms for Counts One and Three, respectively, and to a
term of 60 months' imprisonment for Count Two, to run
consecutively to Counts One and Three. Judgment 2, Doc. 54.
Judgment was affirmed on appeal. United States v.
Taylor, 283 Fed.Appx. 172, 176 (4th Cir. 2008)
filed a timely § 2255 motion to vacate, which this Court
dismissed. Order, Taylor v. United States, No.
3:09-cv-00089-FDW (W.D.N.C July 20, 2009), Doc. No. 2.
Thereafter, he filed several unauthorized successive motions
to vacate, which were dismissed.
20, 2016, Taylor sought authorization to file a successive
motion to vacate in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals,
contending that under the Supreme Court's decision in
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015),
made retroactive to cases on collateral review, Welch v.
United States, 136 S.Ct. 1257 (2016), he no longer
qualifies as a career offender under the federal sentencing
guidelines and should be resentenced. (Pet., Doc. No. 1.) The
Fourth Circuit granted Taylor's motion and authorized him
to file a successive § 2255 motion based on
Johnson. (4th Cir. Order, Doc. No. 1-1.)
Motion to Vacate, Taylor raised a single claim -- that
pursuant to the holding in Johnson, 135 S.Ct. 2551,
his North Carolina conviction for AWDWISI no longer qualifies
as a predicate crime of violence under the residual clause of
the career offender sentencing guideline. (§ 2255 Mot.
4, Doc. No. 1.) On November 14, 2016, Taylor filed a Motion
to Supplement his § 2255 Motion to Vacate, seeking to
add a claim that his convictions for possession of a firearm
during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime (Count
Two) and possession of a firearm by a felon (Count Three)
should be vacated because the firearm at issue was an
“antique.” (Mot. to Suppl. § 2255 Mot., Doc.
Taylor filed his Motion to Vacate, the United States Supreme
Court issued its opinion in Beckles v. United
States, holding that Johnson does not extend to
the advisory federal sentencing guidelines. 137 S.Ct. 886
(2017). Because the residual clause of the career offender
guideline under which Taylor was sentenced remained valid,
this Court determined he was not entitled to relief under
Johnson. (Order Dismiss. § 2255 Mot. 4-5, Doc.
Taylor's Motion to Supplement his Motion to Vacate, the
Court found the Motion was untimely because it was not filed
within a year of the Johnson decision, see
§ 2255(f)(3), and the facts supporting the claims
presented in the Motion could have been discovered with due
diligence prior to his convictions, see §
2255(f)(4). (Order Deny. Mot. to Suppl. § 2255 Mot. 6-7,
Doc. No. 6.) The Court also found the claims raised in the
Motion to Supplement did not relate back to the claims raised
in the Motion to Vacate, see Fed. Rule Civ. P.
15(c)(1)(B). (Id. at 7-8.) As such, the Court denied
the Motion to Supplement and dismissed the Motion to Vacate.
(Doc. No. 6 at 8.) Taylor is seeking reconsideration of the
Court's judgment. (Doc. Nos. 8-10, 11-1.) Order
dismissing the Motion to Vacate and denying the Motion to
Supplement based upon the Supreme Court's decisions in
Dean v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 1170 (2017) (Doc.
No. 8), Mathis v. United States, (Doc. No. 9), and
Class v. United States, (Doc. No. 11-1), as well as
the Fourth Circuit's opinions in United States v.
Newbold, 791 F.3d 455 (4th Cir. 2015) (Doc. No. 10) and
United States v. Carthorne, (Doc. Nos. 11-1).
Taylor's Motion to Reconsider (Doc. No. 8) was filed
within 28 days of entrance of judgment in this action, it
shall be considered under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
59(e). A district court “has the discretion to grant a
Rule 59(e) motion only in very narrow circumstances:
‘(1) to accommodate an intervening change in
controlling law; (2) to account for new evidence not
available at trial; or (3) to correct a clear error of law or
to prevent manifest injustice.'” Hill v.
Braxton, 277 F.3d 701, 708 (4th Cir. 2002) (quoting
Collison v. Int'l Chem. Workers Union, 34 F.3d
233, 236 (4th Cir. 1994)). “Rule 59(e) motions may not
be used to make arguments that could have been made before
the judgment was entered.” Hill, 277 F.3d at
argues the Court should reconsider its judgment in light of
the Supreme Court's decision in Dean v. United
States, 137 S.Ct. 1170 (2017). In Dean, the
Court held that a sentencing court can consider that a
defendant is subject to mandatory consecutive sentences under
18 U.S.C. § 924(c) when calculating the appropriate
sentence for the predicate offense. Id. at 1178.
Taylor contends that if he were sentenced today, he would no
longer qualify as a career offender because of a change in