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Eady v. United States

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

August 17, 2017

AUBREY LYNN EADY, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          OPINION

          HON. JANET T. NEFF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Aubrey Lynn Eady's motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (ECF No. 1). Also before the Court is Movant's motion to adjourn these proceedings (ECF No. 17). Both motions will be denied.

         I. Background

         In 2002, a jury found Movant guilty of bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) and (f). At sentencing, the Court determined that his range of sentence under the Sentencing Guidelines is 210 to 240 months, after concluding that he is a career offender under § 4B1.1 of the Guidelines. The career-offender provision applies to a defendant who has “at least two prior felony convictions of either a crime of violence or a controlled substance offense.” U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1(a).The Court found that Movant had two prior felony convictions for a crime of violence: a conviction for armed robbery in 1981, in violation of Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.529; and a conviction for unarmed robbery in 1991, in violation of Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.530. In January 2003, the Court imposed a sentence of 210 months.

         This is Movant's second motion to correct his sentence under § 2255. He claims that his sentence is invalid in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015) (“Johnson II”), which held that the “residual clause” in the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B), is unconstitutionally vague. Johnson II, 135 S.Ct. at 2557. Like the definition of violent felony in the ACCA, the definition of crime of violence in the 2003 version of the Guidelines had a residual clause.[1] Crime of violence was defined as:

any offense under federal or state law, punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, that -
(1) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another, or
(2) is burglary of a dwelling, arson, or extortion, involves use of explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.

U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a) (2003) (emphasis added). The italicized text in the definition above is the residual clause. The clause in subsection (1) is known as the “elements” clause, and the remaining portion of subsection (2) is known as the “enumerated offenses” clause. Movant asserts that his prior convictions for armed robbery and unarmed robbery are crimes of violence only under the residual clause, and that the residual clause is unconstitutionally vague in light of Johnson II.

         After Movant filed this action, the Court transferred it to the Court of Appeals for an order authorizing this Court to consider his motion because it is second or successive. In September 2016, the Court of Appeals granted authorization to proceed and remanded the case to this Court. The Court of Appeals also directed this Court to hold the action in abeyance pending the Supreme Court's decision in Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017), because that decision would presumably resolve whether or not Johnson II applies to the Guidelines. The Court appointed counsel for Movant and stayed the case pending a decision in Beckles. In March 2017, the Supreme Court held that Johnson II does not apply to the “advisory Sentencing Guidelines.” Beckles, 137 S.Ct. at 897.

         In a supplemental brief filed in support of his motion, Movant argues that Beckles does not resolve his claim under Johnson II because he was sentenced before Booker v. United States, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), at a time when the Guidelines were viewed as mandatory rather than advisory. See Id. at 258-59 (nullifying the statutory provisions that made the Guidelines mandatory). In contrast, the petitioner in Beckles was sentenced after Booker, and the Supreme Court's decision in Beckles was based in part on the advisory nature of the Sentencing Guidelines. See Beckles, 137 S.Ct. at 894.

         Respondent filed a response arguing that Johnson II does not apply to pre-Booker sentences, that Movant's claim is untimely and procedurally defaulted, and that Movant's claim is meritless because his prior convictions qualify as crimes of violence even without the residual clause. After receiving this response, the Court ordered Movant to file a reply. He did not file one. Instead, he filed a motion to adjourn these proceedings because the question of whether Johnson II applies to a pre-Booker sentence has not been resolved, and the Court of Appeals is likely to address it in one of its pending cases. Movant did not respond to any of Respondent's other arguments, including those regarding timeliness, procedural default, or the fact that his predicate convictions would qualify as crimes of violence even if Johnson II applies to the pre-Booker guidelines. The Court agrees with Respondent that Movant is a career offender even without the residual clause in the Guidelines. Thus, Movant's motion for relief is without merit. In addition, the Court agrees that the motion is barred by the statute of limitations.

         II. Analysis

         A. Movant is a career offender even without the ...


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