United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING MOTION UNDER 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF
AVERN COHN, JUDGE
a criminal case. Defendant/Petitioner Earnest Earl Matthews
(Matthews) was convicted by a jury of being a felon in
possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1). Matthews was sentenced to 180 months under the
Armed Career Criminal Act for having three prior robbery
convictions (armed robbery, carjacking, and unarmed robbery).
The sentence was the mandatory minimum and below the
guidelines range of 210-262 months.
the Court is Matthews' motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255
in which he says his trial counsel was ineffective. For the
reasons that follow, the motion will be denied for lack of
Factual Background On Matthews' appeal, the Court of
Appeals for the Sixth Circuit set forth the relevant facts:
Around 9:45 p.m. on October 24, 2014, two Detroit police
officers were driving their patrol car when they saw Matthews
on the street. Believing that Matthews matched the
description of the suspect in a robbery that had occurred in
the area nine days before, the officers initially tried to
speak to him through their car window. When one of the
officers started to get out of the car, Matthews ran, and the
officer chased after him. While running, Matthews removed a
pistol from the front pocket of his hooded sweatshirt. The
officer, who was a few feet behind Matthews at this point,
yelled, “Drop it or I'll shoot.” Matthews ran
into an alley, where he threw the pistol toward a fence. He
then tripped over a hose and tumbled to the ground, where the
officer put him under arrest. The other police officer, who
had followed Matthews in the patrol car, immediately
retrieved the abandoned pistol.
United States v. Matthews, No. 15-2298, at p. 1-2
(6th Cir. May 8, 2017) (unpublished).
Relevant Procedural History
was initially appointed a federal defender to represent him.
A few months after the appointment, Matthews requested
another attorney. The Court granted his request and appointed
another attorney to represent him. The second attorney
represented Matthews at trial and sentencing. On direct
appeal, the Sixth Circuit granted the second attorney's
motion to withdraw and the Sixth Circuit appointed a third
attorney to handle Matthews direct appeal.
appeal, Matthews argued that the Court (1) erred in denying
his motion to suppress the firearm and (2) erred in ruling at
trial that evidence as to the description of the robbery
suspect, and (3) that his prior conviction for unarmed
robbery was a crime of violence. The Sixth Circuit rejected
all of these arguments and affirmed Mathews' conviction
and sentence. See Doc. 88, United States v.
Matthews, No. 15-2298 (6th Cir. May 8, 2017)
(unpublished). The Supreme Court denied certiorari.
See Doc. 90.
U.S.C. § 2255 provides:
A prisoner in custody under a sentence of a court established
by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the
ground that the sentence imposed was 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 collateral ...