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Owens v. United States

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

August 4, 2017

LEZLI OWENS, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN McBRYDE States District Judge.

         Came on for consideration the motion of Lezli Owens ("movant") under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence. After having considered such motion, the memorandum in support, the government's response, and pertinent parts of the record in Case No. 4:15-CR-214-A, styled "United States of America v. Lezli Owens, et al., " the court has concluded that the motion should be denied.

         I.

         Background

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

         On September 16, 2015, movant and Caleb Smith were named in a one-count indictment charging them with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. CR Doc.[1] 18. On October 23, 2015, movant pleaded guilty to the charge set forth in the indictment. CR Doc. 29. Under oath, movant stated that no one had made any promise or assurance of any kind to induce her to plead guilty. Further, movant stated her understanding that the guideline range was advisory and was one of many sentencing factors the court could consider; that the guideline range could not be calculated until the presentence report ("PSR") was prepared; the court could impose a sentence more severe that the sentence recommended by the advisory guidelines and movant would be bound by her guilty plea; movant was satisfied with her counsel and had no complaints regarding her representation; and, movant and counsel had reviewed the factual resume and movant understood the meaning of everything in it and the stipulated facts were true and accurate. CR Doc. 83. The court accepted for filing the factual resume movant and her attorney had signed on October 1, 2105. CR Doc. 83 at 22; CR Doc. 31.

         The probation officer prepared a PSR that indicated that movant's base offense level of 34 with a two-level enhancement for use of a dangerous weapon in drug-trafficking and a two-level enhancement for importation of methamphetamine from Mexico and a three-level reduction for acceptance of responsibility, for a total offense level of 35. CR Doc. 39, PSR at 14-15, ¶¶ 66-76. Based on her total offense level and criminal history category of IV, the guideline imprisonment range was 235 to 2 93 months; however, the statutorily authorized maximum sentence of twenty years reduced the guideline range to 235 months to 240 months. Id., at 28, ¶ 157. The probation officer concluded with a discussion of factors that might warrant upward departure and a sentence outside the advisory guideline system. Id. at 30-31, ¶¶ 171-73. Following objections by movant, CR Doc. 62, the probation officer issued an addendum to the presentence report. CR Doc. 43. Movant again objected. CR Doc. 63. By order signed February 19, 2016, the court notified the parties that it had tentatively concluded that the objections were without merit. CR Doc. 52.

         On February 28, 2016, movant was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 240 months, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. CR Doc. 58. Movant appealed and her sentence was affirmed. CR Doc. 81. United States v. Owens, 672 F.App'x 395 (5th Cir. 2016) .

         II.

         Grounds of the Motion

         Movant urges four grounds in support of her motion, worded as follows:

Ground One: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Pretrial Stage. Counsel Failed to File A Motion to Suppress As Requested.

Doc.[2] 1 at Page 5 (preprinted numbers at top right corner of form).

Ground Two: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel at Sentencing ...

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