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United States v. Bennett

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

July 26, 2018

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Jesse Ray Bennett, Defendant.

          Allen A. Slaughter, Esq., Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office, Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of Plaintiff.

          Jesse Ray Bennett, pro se.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ANN D. MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge for a ruling on Defendant Jesse Ray Bennett's ("Bennett") 28 U.S.C. § 2255 Motion ("2255 Motion") [Criminal Docket No. 45].[1] In his 2255 Motion, Bennett argues that he was unlawfully sentenced as an armed career criminal because a predicate Minnesota conviction for first degree burglary no longer is a qualifying offense under the Armed Career Criminal Act ("ACCA"), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). For the reasons set forth below, Bennett's Motion is denied.

         II. BACKGROUND

         During the early morning of November 11, 2011, Bennett and his friends returned to an apartment he shared with his girlfriend after consuming alcohol at several area bars. Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR") ¶ 6. Bennett became upset with a neighbor who complained to police about noise at Bennett's apartment. IcL ¶ 7. Bennett then armed himself with both a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol and a Remington Model 870 12-gauge shotgun. Id. Before Bennett could confront the neighbor, two of his friends intervened. The .40 caliber pistol discharged and struck one of the friends in the head. Id. ¶ 8. Bennett fled the scene on foot, hid the firearms along a nearby fence, and eluded police until he was arrested nearly two weeks later. Id., ¶¶8-9.

         On June 5, 2012, Bennett was charged in a single-count indictment with being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2) and 924(e). See Indictment [Docket No. 1]. On August 1, 2012, Bennett entered a plea of guilty pursuant to a plea agreement. See Min. Entry [Docket No. 27].

         The PSR determined that Bennett was an armed career criminal based on his previous conviction of three violent felonies or serious drug offenses: 1) second degree aggravated robbery, 2) second degree assault, and 3) first degree burglary. PSR ¶ 25. Bennett did not challenge his ACCA status at his sentencing. On November 8, 2012, Bennett was sentenced to the mandatory minimum sentence of 180 months imprisonment. See Sentencing J. [Docket No. 35] at 2; PSR ¶ 76. Bennett did not directly appeal his sentence.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Section 2255 Standard

         28 U.S.C. § 2255 provides a person in federal custody with a limited opportunity to collaterally attack the constitutionality, jurisdictional basis, or legality of their sentence. See United States v. Addonizio. 442 U.S. 178, 185 (1979). Relief is reserved for violations of constitutional rights and for a narrow range of injuries which were outside a direct appeal and which, if untreated, would result in a miscarriage of justice. See Poor Thunder v. United States, 810 F.2d 817, 821-22 (8th Cir. 1987).

         B. Timliness

         Section 2255 includes a one-year statute of limitations provision that ...


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