United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Benjamin Bejar, Assistant United States Attorney, United
States Attorney's Office, Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of
Leonard Dwayne Hill, pro se.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge
for a ruling on Defendant Leonard Dwayne Hill's
(“Hill”) Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct
Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (“§
2255 Motion”) [Docket No. 206]. For the reasons set forth
below, Hill's § 2255 Motion is denied.
August 6, 2015, a jury returned a verdict finding Hill guilty
of being a felon in possession of ammunition in violation of
18 U.S.C. §§ 921(17)(A), 922(g)(1) and 924(e)(1).
Jury Verdict [Docket No. 88]. Hill was sentenced to a prison
term of 192 months. Sentencing J. [Docket No. 103] at 2.
appealed his conviction, arguing: 1) the Government
constructively amended the Indictment; 2) the Government
failed to establish that the ammunition was in or affecting
interstate commerce; and 3) the de minimis connection to
interstate commerce was insufficient to satisfy the Commerce
Clause. Hill, 835 F.3d at 797-98. On August 29,
2016, the Eighth Circuit affirmed Hill's conviction.
Id. at 800. The Supreme Court denied Hill's writ
of certiorari on January 17, 2017. See Hill v. United
States, 137 S.Ct. 820 (2017).
2017, Hill moved under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate or
correct his sentence. See Mot. Vacate [Docket No.
131]. First, Hill challenged the validity of his conviction
under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), arguing the Government
failed to prove the ammunition had crossed state lines.
Id. at 6. This argument was rejected because the
issue had already been raised and decided by the Eighth
Circuit on direct appeal. See Hill, 2017 WL 4773110,
at *3. Second, Hill argued he no longer had three qualifying
predicate convictions to support his designation as an armed
career criminal after the Supreme Court's decision in
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015).
Id. This Court agreed with his predicate conviction
sentencing argument and ruled that Hill should be
resentenced. Id. The § 2255 motion was thus
denied in part and granted in part. Hill appealed the partial
denial of the interstate commerce portion of his § 2255
motion, and the Eighth Circuit declined to issue a
Certificate of Appealability. See Notice Appeal
[Docket No. 152]; USCA J. [Docket No. 187]. The Supreme Court
denied Hill's writ of certiorari. See Letter
Denying Writ Cert. [Docket No. 198].
January 2018, the Court resentenced Hill to 108 months in
prison. Resentencing J. [Docket No. 167] at 2. Hill appealed
the reasonableness of his new sentence, and the Eighth
Circuit affirmed the new sentence in April 2019. See
Notice Appeal [Docket No. 170]; United States v.
Hill, 769 Fed.Appx. 393 (8th Cir. 2019).
2019, Hill sought permission from the Eighth Circuit to file
a successive § 2255 motion. The Eighth Circuit ruled
that authorization is not necessary because a new
resentencing judgment was entered. See USCA J.
[Docket No. 204]; Mandate [Docket No. 205]. Hill then filed
this § 2255 Motion challenging the validity of his
conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).
in federal custody are provided a limited opportunity to
collaterally attack the constitutionality, jurisdictional
basis, or legality of their sentence under 28 U.S.C. §
2255. See United States v. Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178,
185 (1979). “Relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is
reserved for transgressions of constitutional rights and for
a narrow range of injuries that could not have been raised on
direct appeal, and if uncorrected, would result in a complete
miscarriage of justice.” Walking Eagle v. United
States, 742 F.3d 1079, 1081-82 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
United States v. Apfel, 97 F.3d 1074, 1076 (8th Cir.
2255 generally may not “be used to relitigate matters
decided on direct appeal.” Sun Bear v. United
States, 644 F.3d 700, 702 (8th Cir. 2011) (citing
Davis v. United States, 417 U.S. 333, 346-47
(1974)). “Claims which were raised and decided on
direct appeal cannot be relitigated on a motion to vacate
pursuant to 28 ...