United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CATHERINE D. PERRY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
of 2015, I denied Darwin Markeith Huggans’ motion to
vacate, set aside or correct his sentence, brought under 28
U.S.C. § 2255. Huggans had been convicted after a bench
trial of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to
distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and a separate
charge of attempt to possess with intent to distribute more
than five kilograms of cocaine. Case No. 4:07CR541 CDP. The
government filed an information under 21 U.S.C. § 851
charging him with two prior felony drug convictions, so he
was sentenced to life imprisonment, as was mandatory under 21
U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A). The Eighth Circuit Court of
Appeals affirmed his conviction and sentence. United
States v. Huggans, 650 F.3d 1210 (8th Cir. 2011),
cert denied, 132 S.Ct. 1583 (2012).
ruling on the § 2255 motion, I rejected the following
grounds for relief:
1. Counsel had an actual conflict of interest, depriving
Huggans of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel, and counsel
failed to inform Huggans or the court of the conflict.
2. The trial court erred in failing to inquire into
counsel’s actual conflict of interest, depriving
Huggans of his Sixth Amendment right to conflict free
3. The trial court erred in allowing the matter to proceed to
a bench trial, depriving Huggans of his right to due process
and counsel was ineffective for not requesting a jury trial
based on the court’s concern in having a bench trial at
4. Trial counsel was ineffective for failing to adequately
investigate or prepare for Huggans’ case.
5. The trial court erred in failing to correctly advise
Huggans of the § 851 consequences and counsel was
ineffective for failing to object to the court’s
incorrect § 851 statement in violation of Huggans’
due process rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
6. Counsel was ineffective in advising Huggans to proceed to
a bench trial without proper advice.
7. Trial counsel was ineffective in failing to properly
advise Huggans regarding possible sentences or the impact of
§ 851 enhancements in taking a plea versus going to
8. Huggans was deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to
effective assistance of appellate counsel.
9. Under Alleyne v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2151
(2013), the government was required to prove beyond a
reasonable doubt the prior convictions that formed the basis
for the § 851 sentencing enhancement.
has now filed a number of pro se motions in this
closed case. He filed a motion to alter or amend the
judgment and supplemental motion, several motions for
discovery and a motion for appointment of counsel, and other
assorted memoranda and supplemental filings. Most of the many
filings simply reargue the grounds that I previously
rejected, or refile materials that Huggans had filed before.
I will not discuss any of those previously rejected arguments
because Huggans has presented nothing that would change any
of my prior analysis or that convinces me that my previous
analysis was incorrect. Additionally, his requests for
discovery are directed to those same rejected grounds and he
is not entitled to the discovery he seeks.
motion to alter or amend judgment, however, Huggans raises
one new claim: that he has “newly discovered
evidence” that the government failed to disclose
exculpatory material, specifically that a witness had been an
informant back in 1994. He also alleges that the undersigned
was biased in favor of the witness’s testimony because
I had been the Magistrate Judge who presided over a hearing
involving the witness in 1994, some fifteen years before
Huggans’ 2009 trial. He asserts that I should have
sua sponte recused myself from presiding over his
bench trial, and that his counsel ...