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Chambers v. United States

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

October 31, 2019

JOHN LEWIS CHAMBERS, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          ORDER

          Kenneth D. Bell, United States District Judge.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Petitioner's pro se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, (Doc. No. 1).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner was indicted in the underlying criminal case for a single count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). (5:17-cr-20, Doc. No. 1). He pled guilty straight-up. See (Id., Doc. No. 14) (Factual Basis). Petitioner stated under oath at a Rule 11 hearing before Magistrate Judge Keesler that he was knowingly and voluntarily pleading guilty, acknowledged the rights he was waiving by entering his plea, and the consequences of his plea including his sentencing exposure. See (Id., Doc. No. 35 at 5-8). Petitioner acknowledged that he had discussed with his lawyer how the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines might apply to his case, that the Court had not yet determined his sentence, and that he may receive a sentence higher or lower than the advisory guidelines range. (Id., Doc. No. 35 at 5-8). Petitioner agreed that his plea was not the product of any threats, intimidation, or promises of leniency or a light sentence. (Id., Doc. No. 35 at 10). Petitioner had enough time to discuss with his lawyer any possible defenses and he stated his satisfaction with her services. (Id., Doc. No. 35 at 10).

         The Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”) scored the base offense level as 24 pursuant to U.S. Sentencing Guidelines § 2K2.1 for a violation of § 922(g)(1) subsequent to Petitioner's commission of at least two felony convictions of a crime of violence, i.e., common law robbery in Iredell County case numbers 00CRS50281 and 02CRS52894. (Id., Doc. No. 23 at ¶ 15). Three levels were deducted for acceptance of responsibility resulting in a total offense level of 21. (Id., Doc. No. 23 at ¶¶ 22-24). Petitioner received no Chapter Four enhancements. (Id., Doc. No. 23 at ¶ 20).

         The PSR's Criminal History section scored the following North Carolina convictions:

00CRS50281: common law robbery (19 to 23 months' imprisonment), 3 points
02CRS52894: common law robbery (19 to 23 months' imprisonment, suspended); 02CRS53151 & 02CRS53152: assault on a law enforcement officer/ police officer with a firearm (36 to 53 months' imprisonment, suspended), 3 points
09CR52575: flee/elude arrest with motor vehicle (120 days' imprisonment); 09CR52576: reckless driving to endanger (60 days' imprisonment), 2 points
11CR4073: driving while license revoked (91 days' imprisonment), 2 points
13CR1833: driving while license revoked (45 days' imprisonment), 1 point
13CR4208: driving while license revoked (45 days' imprisonment) 13CR4209: possession of drug paraphernalia (consolidated with 13CR4208), 1 point
14CRS55081: possession of marijuana (100 days' imprisonment, suspended), 1 point
15CRS53190: assault on a female (150 days' imprisonment, suspended), 1 point
16CR50980: assault on a female (150 days' imprisonment), 2 points

(Id., Doc. No. 23 at ¶¶ 30, 34, 35, 37, 41, 42, 43, 44, 46).

         Two more points were added because Petitioner committed the instant offense while under a criminal justice sentence. (Id., Doc. No. 23 at ¶¶ 47-48). This resulted in a criminal history score of 18 and a criminal history category of VI. (Id., Doc. No. 23 at ¶ 49).

         The resulting advisory guideline imprisonment range was 77 to 96 months followed by between one and three years of supervised release. (Id., Doc. No. 23 at ¶¶ 114, 117).

         Counsel filed objections to the PSR on Petitioner's behalf arguing, inter alia, that the two North Carolina robbery convictions do not qualify as “crimes of violence” for purposes of the ...


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