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Wilson v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division

September 24, 2019

CLINTON HUGO WILSON, Jr., Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          ORDER

          MARTIN REIDINGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Petitioner’s Motion to Vacate Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [CV Doc. 1], [1] Petitioner’s Supplemental Motion to Vacate Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [CV Doc. 3], and the Government’s Motion to Dismiss Petitioner’s Motion to Vacate [CV Doc. 10]. The Petitioner is represented by Joshua Carpenter of the Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On February 8, 2012, Petitioner Clinton Hugo Wilson, Jr., (“Petitioner”) was charged, along with his co-defendants Donzell Ali McKinney and Kylie Brooke Rumfelt, in a Bill of Indictment with one count of Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a) (Count One); one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a) (Count Two); and one count of possessing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a “crime of violence, ” that is Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(iii) (Count Three). [CR Doc. 1: Indictment]. On August 15, 2012, Petitioner and the Government entered into an Amended Plea Agreement, pursuant to which Petitioner agreed to plead guilty to Counts One and Three and the Government agreed to dismiss Count Two. [CR Doc. 40 at 1: Amended Plea Agreement].

         On March 20, 2013, the Court sentenced Petitioner to a term of imprisonment of 46 months on Count One and 120 months on Count Two, to be served consecutively to the term imposed on Count One, for a total term of 166 months’ imprisonment. [CR Doc. 66 at 2: Judgment]. Judgment on this conviction was entered on April 3, 2013. [Id.]. Petitioner did not file a direct appeal from this Judgment.

         On May 26, 2016, Petitioner filed a pro se motion to vacate sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. [CV Doc. 1]. On June 21, 2016, counsel with the Federal Defender’s office filed, on Petitioner’s behalf, a Supplemental Motion to Vacate Sentence, arguing that his conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) is invalid under Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). [CV Doc. 3]. The Court conducted an initial screening of Petitioner’s Motion and the Supplemental Motion. The Court found that these motions appeared to be untimely under § 2255(f)(1), but were filed within one year of Johnson, § 2255(f)(3), and that Petitioner stated a colorable claim for relief cognizable under § 2255(a). [CV Doc. 4 at 2]. The Court, therefore, ordered the Government to respond to these motions. [Id.].

         Then, upon the request of the Government, this matter was stayed pending the Fourth Circuit’s decision in United States v. Ali, No. 15-4433, or United States v. Simms, No. 15-4640. [CV Doc. 5]. The Fourth Circuit then ordered that Ali would be held in abeyance pending the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Davis, No. 18-431. On the Government’s request, this matter was in turn stayed pending Davis. The Supreme Court decided Davis on June 24, 2019. The next day this Court lifted the stay and ordered the Government to respond to the Petitioner’s motion by August 23, 2019. The Government timely filed a motion to dismiss Petitioner’s § 2255 motion to vacate. [CV Doc. 10]. The Petitioner, despite being represented by counsel, did not respond.

         This matter is now ripe for disposition.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings provides that courts are to promptly examine motions to vacate, along with “any attached exhibits and the record of prior proceedings” in order to determine whether the petitioner is entitled to any relief on the claims set forth therein. After examining the record in this matter, the Court finds that the motion to vacate can be resolved without an evidentiary hearing based on the record and governing case law. See Raines v. United States, 423 F.2d 526, 529 (4th Cir. 1970).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Petitioner’s Pro Se Motion to Vacate.

         In his pro se motion to vacate, Petitioner seeks relief under § 2255 on three grounds: (1) ineffective assistance of counsel because Petitioner told his lawyer “that the Government prosecutor should be held to some sort of reprimand for failing to let him argue that evidence was withheld on the Government[’]s part concerning five different statements of a female co-defendant and he failed to appeal;” (2) prosecutorial misconduct for withholding five different conflicting statements made by a female co- defendant until after Petitioner pleaded guilty “under violation of the Brady [sic] rule;” and (3) a due process violation for “putting a Defendant in prison for a loss of liberty based on false evidence and conduct that is not criminal.” [Doc. 1 at 4].

         In 1996, Congress enacted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (the “AEDPA”). Among other things, the AEDPA amended 28 U.S.C. § 2255 by imposing a one-year statute of limitations ...


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