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United States v. Carpenter

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

March 18, 2019

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Lyle Robert Carpenter, Defendant.

          Katherine T. Buzicky & Surya Saxena, United States Attorney's Office, for Plaintiff.

          Lyle Robert Carpenter, Pro Se.

          AMENDED MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SUSAN RICHARD NELSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Lyle Robert Carpenter's Pro Se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct the Sentence Imposed Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (“§ 2255 Motion”) [Doc. No. 585]. Based on a review of the files, records and proceedings herein, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Defendant's § 2255 Motion.

         I. Background

         On June 10, 2012, Defendant was charged, along with six other defendants, with: 1) conspiracy to commit bank burglary in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a), 2113(b), and 2314; 2) conspiracy to steal controlled substances in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2118(d) and 2118(b); 3) two counts of bank burglary in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a); 4) two counts of bank larceny in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(b); 5) two counts of burglary involving a controlled substance in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2118(b)(1); 6) credit union burglary in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a); and 7) interstate transportation of stolen property in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2314. (Indictment at 1-12 [Doc. No. 1].) Defendant went to trial and was convicted on all counts. (Jury Verdict [Doc. No. 343].)

         At his December 2014 sentencing hearing, this Court found Defendant qualified as a career offender based partially on his prior Minnesota burglary convictions, and sentenced him to a prison term of 210 months. (Sentencing J. at 2 [Doc. No. 513].)

         Defendant and his co-defendant Derek Benedict appealed their sentences. United States v. Benedict, 815 F.3d 377 (2016) (“Benedict I”). Mark Nyvold, Defendant's counsel, represented Carpenter both at sentencing and throughout all of his appeals. In Benedict I, Defendant argued that he should be resentenced due to the Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). Id. at 385-86. The Eighth Circuit affirmed Defendant's Career Offender sentence based on its prior decision in United States v. Stymiest, 581 F.3d 759, 769 (8th Cir. 2009), which held that commercial burglary both qualified as a crime of violence under the residual clause and alternatively, under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2) as an enumerated offense even though it is not specifically listed therein. Id.

         Defendant and his co-defendant Benedict next filed a petition for rehearing en banc, which was granted. United States v. Benedict, 855 F.3d 880 (2017) (“Benedict II”). In light of Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017), in which the Supreme Court clarified that the Career Offender Guidelines are not subject to the same constitutional vagueness challenges addressed in Johnson regarding the residual clause under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), the Eighth Circuit affirmed. Id. at 890. The Eighth Circuit further noted that, although the Sentencing Commission removed the residual clause from U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2) in 2016, that removal could not apply retroactively to Defendant's 2014 sentence. Id. at 888-89. Defendant then filed a petition for writ of certiorari, which was denied on October 10, 2017. Carpenter v. United States, No. 17-5812, 138 S.Ct. 341 (Oct. 10, 2017).

         In this § 2255 Motion, Carpenter argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel stemming from Mr. Nyvold's alleged failure to argue on appeal that the Defendant's burglary convictions should not count as predicate “crimes of violence” under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2). (See Def's § 2255 Mot. at 4 (citing Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016); Johnson, 135 S.Ct. 2551; United States v. McArthur, 850 F.3d 925, 938 (8th Cir. 2017).)

         II. Discussion

         A. Legal Standard

         Under § 2255,

[a] prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral ...

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