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United States v. Haynes

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

October 14, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
SCOTT LEE HAYNES, Defendant.

Kimberly A. Svendsen, Assistant United States Attorney, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Minneapolis, MN, for plaintiff.

Scott Lee Haynes, United States Penitentiary - Hazelton Bruceton Mills, WV, pro se.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S § 2255 PETITION

JOHN R. TUNHEIM, District Judge.

On June 7, 2004, a jury found Scott Lee Haynes guilty of four federal crimes involving possession of a firearm and a stolen vehicle. After concluding that Haynes was a career offender under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, the Court sentenced Haynes to 360 months imprisonment. Haynes now moves to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, arguing that it was unconstitutional for the Court, rather than a jury, to determine his status as a career offender. Specifically, Haynes contends that his constitutional rights under Alleyne v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013) - which held that any fact that increases a mandatory minimum sentence is an element of the crime that must be submitted to the jury - were violated because the Court failed to submit to the jury the issue of his prior convictions for purposes of determining his career offender status. Because the Court concludes that Haynes' motion is untimely and the rule announced in Alleyne does not apply to Haynes' claim, the Court will deny Haynes' motion.

BACKGROUND

I. CONVICTION

On June 7, 2004, a jury found Scott Lee Haynes guilty of possession of an unregistered firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of a stolen vehicle. (Verdict, June 7, 2014, Docket No. 59.) The convictions arose out of a series of crimes committed by Haynes in August 2003. During this series of incidents Haynes (1) broke into an Illinois house and stole, among other things, a semiautomatic shotgun; (2) stole a vehicle from a different home in Illinois; and (3) invaded a home in Minnesota - during which he kidnapped one of the home's occupants and stole money. (Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR") ¶¶ 5-7.) Haynes was arrested in Minnesota while driving the stolen vehicle, and police recovered a sawedoff shotgun from the car. (PSR ¶ 9.)

II. SENTENCING

Prior to sentencing, a presentence investigation was conducted, and the PSR included calculations regarding the Guidelines range applicable to Haynes' convictions. The PSR found a base level offense of 26, which it recommended increasing by 2 levels because a sawed-off shotgun is a destructive device, U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(3), 2 levels because the firearm was stolen, U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(4), and 4 levels because the defendant used the firearm in connection with the kidnapping, U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(5), yielding an adjusted offense level of 34. (PSR ¶¶ 22-26.)

The PSR also concluded that Haynes was both an armed career criminal and a career offender based on his prior convictions. (PSR ¶¶ 39-40.) With respect to career offender status, the PSR explained

The defendant is a career offender because he was at least 18 years old at the time he committed the instant offense; Counts 1, 2, and 4 are felonies that are considered crimes of violence; and the defendant has at least two prior felony convictions of crimes of violence. § 4B1.1. Specifically, on April 19, 1988, he was convicted of Residential Burglary, on September 20, 1988, he was convicted of Escape; and on January 14, 2000, he was convicted of Residential Burglary. Pursuant to § 4B1.1(b)(A), the offense level is 37 because the statutory maximum on Count 2 is life. Because the defendant did not receive an adjustment for acceptance of responsibility, the adjusted offense level is 37.

(PSR ¶ 39.) Although the PSR also concluded that Haynes was an armed career criminal, that designation resulted in an offense level of only 34, and therefore the PSR recommended use of the career offender designation. (PSR ¶ 40.) Haynes' applicable guidelines range based on an offense level of 37 with a criminal history category of VI was 360 months to life imprisonment. (PSR ¶ 86.) Counsel for Haynes objected to the PSR's career offender and armed career criminal designations because they were based on facts which were "not decided by his jury." (Addendum to PSR A.1.)

On October 25, 2004, the Court held a sentencing hearing. (Minute Entry, Oct. 25, 2004, Docket No. 69.) At the hearing, the Court adopted the recommendations of the PSR and determined that Haynes was both a career offender and an armed career criminal based on the nature of his offenses of conviction and his criminal history. The Court found the applicable offense level to be 37 which, with a criminal history category of VI, resulted in a Guidelines range of 360 months to life imprisonment. The Court imposed a sentence of 360 months. (Sentencing J. at 2, Oct. 29, 2004, Docket No. 72.)

Haynes appealed, arguing, among other things, that the Court "enhanced his sentence under the career offender guideline in violation of Booker. " United States v. Haynes, 155 F.Appx. 938, 939 (8th Cir. 2005). Specifically, Haynes argued that "a jury, rather than the district court, should have made the findings that Haynes's possession of a sawed-off shotgun and his earlier convictions for residential burglaries were crimes of violence." Id. But the Eighth Circuit explained that "[w]e have repeatedly rejected this argument... holding Booker does not apply to the judicial determination of whether an offense is a crime of violence." Id. The court noted that possession of a sawed-off shotgun and residential burglaries were both crimes of violence within Eighth Circuit jurisprudence and explained that "Haynes did not challenge the documentation ...


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