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United States v. Watson

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

January 13, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff/Respondent,
v.
KEVIN WATSON, Defendant/Petitioner,

          ORDER DENYING MOTION TO VACATE SENTENCE UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (DOC. #887) AND DENYING MOTION TO COMPEL (DOC. #915)

          Victoria A. Roberts, United States District Judge

         I. Nature of the Case

         Kevin Watson files a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence. Watson was charged and convicted on all counts by a jury on November 22, 2011 for: (1) 18 U.S.C. 371- Conspiracy to Commit Bank Robbery; (2) 18 U.S.C. 2113(a), (e) - Bank Robbery, Aiding and Abetting Resulting in Death; and (3) 18 U.S.C. 924(j)(1) - Premeditated Murder with a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence. On June 22, 2012, this Court sentenced Watson to life imprisonment on Count (2), a concurrent 60 months for Count (1), and a consecutive 120 months for Count (3). The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction and his writ of certiorari was denied.

         This Motion is DENIED. In light of this denial, the Court also DENIES Watson's motion to compel his attorneys to produce their files.

         A. Facts

         In December 2001, Watson and other conspirators robbed an armored truck at the Dearborn Federal Credit Union (“DFCU”) in Dearborn, Michigan. The perpetrators killed a guard and stole $204, 000 and the guard's gun.

         The crime remained unsolved for three years until the Detroit FBI was contacted by a jailhouse informant with information related to the crime. The informant overheard Timothy O'Reilly discussing the DFCU robbery and hoped the information would garner a reward. The FBI arranged for the informant to record his conversations with O'Reilly. O'Reilly described the robbery in detail during one of these conversations with the informant and revealed the names of his coconspirators, which included Watson.

         Watson and his coconspirators were arrested and charged with the crime. Johnson and O'Reilly were both tried and convicted. Norman Duncan, Archie Broom, Khayyam Wilson, and Henry Matthews pleaded guilty. During Watson's trial, Broom, Wilson, and Matthews testified against him. Watson was convicted on all counts. He appealed to the Sixth Circuit stating he was denied a fair trial because of the erroneous admission of evidence. The Sixth Circuit upheld his conviction. Case No. 12-2218.

         B. Watson's Issues

         Watson argues the following as grounds for his motion:

A. The District Court erred by failing to charge him correctly under 18 U.S.C. § 2113, resulting in a violation of his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
B. Trial and appellate counsel provided ineffective assistance for failing to argue the Government did not meet an essential element of 18 U.S.C. § 2113, in violation of his Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

         II. Standard of Review

         A prisoner under sentence of a federal court may motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, to vacate, correct, or set aside the sentence on the grounds the “sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such a sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to a collateral attack.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255. To prevail on a § 2255 motion, Petitioner must show “the existence of an error of constitutional magnitude which had a ...


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