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United States v. Richardson

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

November 9, 2016

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Carl Lee Richardson, Defendant. Criminal No. 07-35 (RHK)

          ORDER

          RICHARD H. KYLE United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's 2016 Motion to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Doc. Nos. 58, 65). Defendant asserts this Court erred in sentencing him as an armed career criminal pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). The Motion will be denied.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         In February 2007, a jury convicted Defendant Carl Richardson of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). (Doc. No. 9.) He was sentenced in May 2007 to 235 months' imprisonment. (Doc. No. 25.)

         Prior to sentencing, the Probation Office issued its presentence investigation report (“PSR”) for Defendant. It found Defendant had been convicted of at least three violent felonies and qualified as an armed career criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), which carries a statutory minimum sentence of 15 years' imprisonment. In particular, it found Defendant was:

(1) Charged and convicted in Illinois in 1996 of aggravated battery with great bodily harm. (PSR ¶ 21.)
(2) Charged in 1997 in Illinois and convicted in 2000 of aggravated kidnaping. (PSR ¶ 24.)
(3) Charged in 1997 in Illinois and convicted in 2000 of aggravated battery in a public place. The offense was charged in the same case as the kidnaping conviction. (PSR ¶ 24.)
(4) Charged in 1999 in Illinois and convicted in 2000 of aggravated battery of a peace officer. (PSR ¶ 25.)

         Defendant did not object to the facts or legal conclusions in the PSR. In particular, he did not dispute he had been convicted of four predicate felonies and qualified as an armed career criminal. (Doc. No. 21; 5/11/07 Sentencing Hr'g Tr. (“ST”) 3-4.)

         The Court adopted the PSR and sentenced Defendant under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), and under the armed career criminal provisions of the Sentencing Guidelines, U.S.S.G. 4B1.4(b)(3)(B). (PSR ¶¶ 18, 30.) Because the matter was not disputed, the Court did not make a further determination of the clause or clauses of the violent felony definition in the statute Defendant's predicate felonies qualified under.

         Defendant appealed his conviction but not his sentence. The judgment was affirmed in August 2008. United States v. Richardson, 537 F.3d 951, 961 (8th Cir. 2008), cert. denied, 556 U.S. 1239 (2009).

         In November 2009, Defendant filed his first motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Doc. Nos. 38, 41.) This Court denied the motion and no certificate of appealability was issued. (Doc. No. 49; United States v. Richardson, No. 10-2692, Entry 3730388 (8th Cir. Dec. 2, 2010).)

         In September 2015, Defendant filed a § 2255(h) motion with the Eighth Circuit requesting permission to file a second § 2255 motion with this Court. He attached to his § 2255(h) motion a copy of the proposed § 2255 motion he hoped to file. Richardson v. United States, No. 15-3188, Entry 4321752 (8th Cir. Sept. 30, 2015). The proposed motion was based on the Supreme Court's 2015 decision in Johnson v. United States, which held the “residual clause” of § 924(e)'s violent felony definition was unconstitutionally vague. 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). Defendant ...


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