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Reeves v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

April 27, 2017

LLOYD REEVES, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. Crim. No. 13-03084-01-CR-S-RK

          ORDER

          ROSEANN A. KETCHMARK, JUDGE

         Before the Court is Movant Lloyd Reeves's (“Movant”)'s motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence as an armed career criminal under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, based on Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). Johnson held that the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”)'s residual clause is unconstitutional. The Government opposes the motion, arguing that Johnson does not affect Movant's sentence and he remains an armed career criminal because his ACCA predicate offenses were serious drug offenses or violent felonies under the enumerated offenses clause, not under the residual clause. The Government also argues that Movant's motion is not timely because Movant seeks relief based on statutory interpretation principles set forth in Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), and does not rely on the new rule of law announced in Johnson. For the reasons stated below, Movant's motion is GRANTED, Movant's sentence is VACATED, and a resentencing hearing is ORDERED.

         Background

         On February 3, 2014, Movant pleaded guilty (doc. 23) pursuant to a plea agreement (doc. 31) to Count One of the indictment, which charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e)(1) (doc. 1). In his plea agreement, Movant acknowledged that “the minimum penalty the Court may impose is fifteen (15) years imprisonment[.]” (Doc. 31 at 3.)

         A presentence investigation report (“PSR”) was prepared on April 24, 2014. (Doc. 25.) The PSR stated that Movant had “at least three prior convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offense” under the ACCA. (Id. at 6.) It then listed four of Movant's convictions in Missouri: (1) a 1989 second-degree burglary of an “inhabitable structure, ” (2) a 1995 second-degree burglary of a “residence, ” (3) a 1999 second-degree burglary of an “inhabitable structure, ” and (4) a 2005 unlawful use of a weapon. (Id. at 6, 7-10.) The PSR also stated that Movant was “an armed career criminal and subject to an enhanced sentence under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e).” (Id. at 6.) Movant did not object to the PSR. (Doc. 25 at 15.)

         18 U.S.C. § 924(e) of the ACCA carries a minimum penalty of fifteen years' imprisonment, which, as stated previously, Movant acknowledged he was subject to when he pleaded guilty. (Doc. 31 at 3.) Accordingly, on September 29, 2014, Movant was sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment, and a three-year period of supervised release. (Doc. 28.) Movant did not directly appeal his conviction or sentence.

         Movant then filed this motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on February 25, 2016, arguing that the Supreme Court's decision in Johnson renders his sentence illegal. (Doc. 1.)

         Standard of Review

         A district court may vacate, set aside, or correct a federal sentence if “the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Movant bears the burden to show he is entitled to relief. Day v. United States, 428 F.2d 1193, 1195 (8th Cir. 1970). In a case involving an ACCA conviction such as this one, “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.” Hardman v. United States, 149 F.Supp.3d 1144, 1148 (W.D. Mo. 2016); see also Hardman v. United States, 191 F.Supp.3d 989, 992-93 (W.D. Mo. 2016) (denying Government's motion for reconsideration on the issue of the burden of proof).

         Discussion

         1. Timeliness of Movant's Motion

         There is a one-year statute of limitation period for a movant to file a § 2255 habeas action. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f). This one-year period runs from the latest of the following four possible events:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which an applicable impediment made by the ...

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