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Watkins v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

May 8, 2017

ANTHONY WATKINS, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          John McBryde United States District Judge.

         Came on for consideration the motion of Anthony Watkins ("movant") under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence. After having considered the motion, the government's response, the reply, and pertinent parts of the record in Case No. 4:06-CR-010-A, styled "United States of America v. Lewis Baston, et al., " the court has concluded that the motion must be dismissed as untimely.

         I. Background

         Information contained in the record of the underlying criminal case discloses the following:

         On January 19, 2006, movant was named with two others in an indictment charging him in count one with conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, and in count two with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute more than five hundred grams of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a) (1) and (b) (1) (B) . CR Doc.[1] 1. On April 6, 2006, movant pleaded guilty to count two of the indictment. CR Doc. 64. On July 28, 2006, the court sentenced movant to a term of imprisonment of 264 months. CR Doc. 86; CR Doc. 95. Movant appealed and his conviction and sentence were affirmed. CR Doc. 114; United States v. Watkins, 231 F.App'x 340 (5th Cir. 2007) . Movant did not pursue a writ of certiorari.

         By order signed June 20, 2008, the court granted movant's motion for sentence reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) (2), and reduced his sentence to a term of 211 months. CR Doc. 121. Movant filed two further motions for sentence reduction, which were denied, CR Docs. 130, 144, 134, 149, and a motion for reconsideration, which was also denied. CR Docs. 152, 153. Movant appealed, but his appeal was dismissed for want of prosecution. CR Doc. 159.

         II.

         Ground of the Motion

         Movant asserts one ground in support of his motion. Movant says that he was sentenced as a career offender, which is now erroneous in light of Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), and United States v. Hinkle, 832 F.3d 569 (5th Cir. 2016).

         III.

         Standard of Review

         After conviction and exhaustion, or waiver, of any right to appeal, courts are entitled to presume that a defendant stands fairly and finally convicted. United States v. Fradv, 456 U.S. 152, 164-165 (1982); United States v. Shaid, 937 F.2d 228, 231-32 (5th Cir. 1991). A defendant can challenge his conviction or sentence after it is presumed final on issues of constitutional or jurisdictional magnitude only, and may not raise an issue for the first time on collateral review without showing both "cause" for his procedural default and "actual prejudice" resulting from the errors. Shaid, 937 F.2d at 232.

         Section 2255 does not offer recourse to all who suffer trial errors. It is reserved for transgressions of constitutional rights and other narrow injuries that could not have been raised on direct appeal and would, if condoned, result in a complete miscarriage of justice. United States v. Capua, 656 F.2d 1033, 1037 (5th Cir. Unit A Sept. 1981). In other words, a writ of habeas corpus will not be allowed to do service for an appeal. Davis v. United States, 417 U.S. 333, 345 (1974). Further, if issues "are raised and considered on direct appeal, a defendant is thereafter precluded from urging the same issues in a ...


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