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Northern v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southern Division

April 26, 2017

ERIC W. NORTHERN, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          E. RICHARD WEBBER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Petitioner Eric Northern's Motion to Correct Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [ECF No. 1].

         I. BACKGROUND

         On May 17, 2007, Petitioner Eric Northern (“Petitioner”) was indicted for the federal offense of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e). On October 23, 2007, Petitioner pleaded guilty to the charge.

         After the plea, the United States Probation Office issued a presentence investigation report (“PSR”), which stated that Petitioner had the following prior felony convictions for offenses qualifying as violent felonies under the ACCA:

(1) On January 8, 1998, in the Circuit Court of Scott County, Missouri, in Case Number CR597-1092FX, for the felony of First Degree Burglary, (P.S.R. ¶ 30);
(2) On January 8, 1998, in the Circuit Court of Scott County, Missouri, in Case Number CR597-1093FX, for the felony of Second Degree Burglary (P.S.R. ¶ 34);
(3) On January 8, 1998, in the Circuit Court of Scott County, Missouri, in Case Number CR597-1095FX, for the felony of Second Degree Burglary (P.S.R. ¶ 38);
(4) On January 8, 1998, in the Circuit Court of Scott County, Missouri, in Case Number CR597-1096FX, for the felony of First Degree Burglary (P.S.R. ¶ 42); and
(5) January 8, 1998, in the Circuit Court of Scott County, Missouri, in Case Number CR597-1097FX, for the felony of Second Degree Burglary (P.S.R. ¶ 46);

         The Court adopted the PSR, and on January 28, 2008, the Court sentenced Petitioner as an armed career criminal to 180 months' imprisonment, and a three-year term of supervised release.

         After the United States Supreme Court decided Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2251 (2015), Petitioner filed the present motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence. Petitioner argues his prior burglary convictions were erroneously deemed violent felonies. More specifically, he alleges that, some or all of his prior convictions for various burglaries could only qualify as crimes of violence under the residual clause of the ACCA, which was declared unconstitutionally vague in Johnson. The government responds that Petitioner's sentence is not affected by the holding of Johnson.

         II. DISCUSSION

         In order to prevail on a § 2255 motion involving an ACCA conviction, “the movant carries the burden of showing that the Government did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that his conviction fell under the ACCA.” Givens v. United States, No. ...


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