United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
JIM R. HARRIS, Movant,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the second amended motion of
Jim R. Harris to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The United States has
filed a response in opposition. Also before the Court is
Harris's motion to amend the motion to vacate by
asserting additional claims.
December 9, 2011, Harris pled guilty to interfering with
commerce by threat or violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1951 (Count I); possessing a firearm in furtherance of
a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)
(Count II); and possessing ammunition as a convicted felon,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) (Count III). He was
sentenced on February 21, 2012 to a 300-month term of
imprisonment, consisting of concurrent terms of 180 months
for each of Counts I and III and a consecutive 120 months for
Count II. The judgment and sentence were affirmed on appeal.
United States v. Harris, 499 Fed.Appx. 631 (8th Cir.
March 4, 2013).
motion to vacate, Harris asserts the following grounds for
relief: (1) breach of and failure to disclose plea agreement;
(2) improper designation as an armed career criminal;
ineffective assistance of trial counsel; and (4)
insufficiency of the indictment and deficient evidence. In
the motion to amend, Harris asserts seeks leave to assert the
following additional grounds for relief: (5) ineffective
assistance of counsel on appeal; (6) involuntariness of
guilty plea; and (7) entrapment and coercion.
motion to amend is premised on Harris's assumption that
the additional claims are untimely. A one-year period of
limitation applies to motions for relief under Â§ 2255. 28
U.S.C. § 2255(f). The one-year period begins to run---as
relevant here---from the date on which the judgment of
conviction became final. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(1).
Harris's conviction became “final” ninety
days after the court of appeals decided his direct appeal.
See United States v. Sanchez-Gonzalez, 643 F.3d 626,
629 (8th Cir. 2011) (criminal defendant's conviction does
not become final for purposes of § 2255 motion until
ninety days after appellate court issues ruling on direct
appeal) [citing United States v. Hernandez, 436 F.3d
851, 856 (8th Cir. 2006)]. The Eighth Circuit issued its
decision in Harris's case on March 4, 2013. Harris's
conviction did not become final until ninety days later, or
June 2, 2013. Because both the original motion and the motion
to amend were filed before June 2, 2014, Harris does not need
leave of court to assert the additional claims. Therefore,
the Court will consider and address the additional claims.
first ground for relief, Harris claims that the plea
agreement was not disclosed to him and that he entered a
guilty plea “without complete understanding of the
impact of the P.S.I. [pre-sentencing report].” He also
claims that the plea agreement was initially accepted by the
court but was later rejected.
December 9, 2011, Harris appeared before a district judge and
gave the following answers under oath:
Q: [Judge] Now the lawyers have given me a written Plea
Agreement that consists of 18 pages, and I see that you and
both lawyers have signed it on page 18, is that right?
A: [Harris] Yes, sir.
Q: Have you read the agreement?
Q: Have you gone over it in detail with your ...