United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
McBRYDE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
for consideration the motion of Christopher Robert Weast
("movant") under 28 U.S.C. § 22 55 to vacate,
set aside, or correct sentence. After having considered such
motion, its supporting memorandum, the government's
response, the reply, and pertinent parts of the record in
Case No. 4:14-CR-023-A, styled "United States of America
v. Christopher Robert Weast, " the court has concluded
that the motion should be denied.
contained in the record of the underlying criminal case
discloses the following:
February 12, 2014, movant was named in a one-count
indictment; on May 14, 2014, movant was named in a two-count
superseding indictment; on June 11, 2014, movant was named in
a two-count second superseding indictment; and, on July 1,
2014, movant was named in a two-count third superseding
indictment. CR Docs. 1, 57, 85, 10 3. The third superseding
indictment charged movant with possession of child
pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
2252A(a)(5)(B) and 2252A(b)(2), and receipt of child
pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
2252A(a)(2)(A) and 2252A(b)(1). CR Doc. 103.
the course of the proceedings (and continuing to date),
movant filed numerous frivolous papers. He refused to
cooperate with counsel and a court-appointed forensic
examiner, denied that he was the true defendant, filed
counterclaims against the government, moved to dismiss the
charges based on purported lack of jurisdiction, sought
emergency writs and stays, and requested the "bond
policy numbers" of the prosecutor, probation officer,
defense counsel, and presiding judges. See, e.g., CR
DOCS. 26, 33, 35, 38-41, 46, 49-50, 54-56, 59, 61, 75, 95,
96, 98, 100, 127, 135-37, 147-48, 153, 155, 159, 166, 175-81,
197-99, 201-03, 216-17, 219, 229-33, .236-39, 247-49, 251-56,
264, 266-70, 272-81, 285-90, 292, 319-21, 323-77, 388-95,
court, through the magistrate judge, initially determined
that movant had knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to
representation by court-appointed counsel and allowed movant
to represent himself. CR Doc. 43. The judge then presiding
recused and the case was assigned to the docket of the
undersigned. CR Doc. 67. The court set a hearing to consider
whether movant should be allowed to continue to represent
himself. CR Doc. 69. Following the hearing, the government
filed a motion for mental competency examination of movant.
CR Doc. 77. The court granted the motion and appointed the
Federal Public Defender to represent movant in connection
with the competency proceedings. CR Doc. 78. At the hearing
on July 8, 2014, the forensic psychiatrist appointed to
conduct an evaluation of movant testified that movant had the
ability to control his conduct but chose to engage in conduct
designed to obstruct the proceedings. CR Doc. 110 at 24. The
court determined that it could not find from the evidence
that movant was incompetent. CR Doc. 110 at 28. And, the
court appointed the Federal Public Defender to represent
movant at trial, since it appeared that movant would not be
able to participate in the trial in the courtroom, given his
conduct. CR Doc. 110 at 39-40; CR Doc. 125 (explaining in
detail movant's conduct up to that time).
was conducted on July 2 8 and 29, 2014. CR Docs. 204, 209. On
July 29, 2017, the jury returned its verdict of guilty as to
each count of the third superseding indictment and a special
verdict as to items to be forfeited. CR Docs. 211, 213.
Movant was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 0 months
as to count one and 240 months as to count two, to run
consecutively for a total of 360 months' imprisonment, CR
Doc. 2 83. Movant appealed and his judgment was affirmed.
United States v. Weast, 811 F.3d 743 (5th Cir.
2016). The Supreme Court denied his petition for writ of
certiorari. 137 S.Ct. 126 (2016).
of the Motion
motion, movant sets forth four grounds for relief.
1. They are:
(1) Movant was denied his right to effective assistance of
counsel as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the United
(2) The trial court erred when it increased Movant's base
sentencing guideline range five levels for distribution and
exchanging pornographic materials and exchanging for a thing
of value pursuant to USSG § 2G2.1.
(3) The trial court erred in refusing to let defense counsel
ask a computer expert for the defense whether or not there
were viruses on Movant's confiscated computer.
Id. at 7.
(4) Movant's sentence is substantively unreasonable and
Id. at 8.
supporting memorandum attached to the motion, movant asserts