United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
for consideration the motion of Gladstone Morrison
("movant") under 2 8 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate,
set aside, or correct sentence. After having considered such
motion, its supporting memorandum, the government's
response, movant's reply, and pertinent parts of the
record in Case No. 4:14-CR-069-A, styled "United States
of America v. Gladstone Morrison, et al., " the court
has concluded that the motion should be denied.
contained in the record of the underlying criminal case
discloses the following:
September 4, 2014, movant and his wife, Jacqueline Morrison,
were named in a twenty-count second superseding indictment.
CR Doc. 57. He was charged in count 1 with
conspiracy to aid and assist in preparation and presentation
of false and fraudulent tax returns, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 371; in counts 3-14 with aiding and assisting
in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent
return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2); in counts
15-18 with wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343;
and in counts 19 and 20 with making a false statement, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1014. Id.
case was tried to a jury, which returned its verdict on
October 23, 2014, finding movant guilty as to all counts. CR
Doc. 144. The court sentenced movant to terms of imprisonment
of 11 months as to each of the counts, to run consecutively
to each other, for a total aggregate sentence of imprisonment
of 187 months. CR Doc. 256. Movant was ordered to pay
restitution in the amount of $17, 807, 106.00. Id.
Movant appealed and the judgment was affirmed. United
States v. Morrison, 833 F.3d 491 (5th Cir. 2016). His
petition for writ of certiorari was denied. 137 S.Ct. 1098
November 6, 2017, movant filed his motion under'§
2255 along with a sixty-page memorandum. Docs. 1 & 2. By
lengthy order signed November 17, 2107, the court ordered
that movant's memorandum be stricken from the record and
gave him an opportunity to file a revised supporting
memorandum not to exceed twenty-five pages in length. The
order explained why movant had apparently misunderstood the
purpose of a motion under § 2255 and urged him to focus
on grounds he thought would have some prospect of success in
filing his revised memorandum. And, the order directed that
movant "clearly designate in such document by
appropriate headings the part or parts of the document that
are intended to be in support of each ground of his [motion]
that he wishes to continue to urge." Doc. 8. On December
18, 2017, movant filed an amended memorandum, improperly
purporting to incorporate by reference the amended memorandum
filed by his wife under Case Wo. 4:17-CV-899-A to get around
the page limitation. Doc. 12. The court ordered the amended
memorandum stricken and granted movant one final opportunity
to file a proper memorandum. Doc. 15. On January 5, 2018,
movant filed his revised memorandum. Doc. 17. Thereafter, on
January 23, 2018, movant filed an amended memorandum,
purporting to completely change the grounds he was pursuing.
Doc. 18. The court ordered the amended memorandum stricken
from the record and instructed that the government should
proceed in preparation of its response to the motion and
revised memorandum. Doc. 20.
January 31, 2018, the government filed its response to
movant's motion, addressing each of the grounds supported
by the revised memorandum. Doc. 22. And, on February 16, 2018, the
clerk filed movant's reply. Doc. 24.
Grounds of the Motion
sets forth nine grounds in his motion, worded as follows:
GROUND ONE: Denial of effective assistance of counsel, when
[movant was] not present in the courtroom during crucial
period of the trial proceedings.
Doc. 1 at 5.
GROUND TWO: The jury failed to make a factual finding as to
the elements of the offense in which punishment was rendered
by the court.
Id. at 6.
GROUND THREE: [Movant was] denied effective assistance of
counsel when the statute of limitation on the alleged offense
as charged in the second superseding indictment had expired.
Id. at 8.
GROUND FOUR: Counsel(s) were constitutionally ineffective for
failing to file for dismissal of the charges based upon
prosecutor misconduct: scanning and copying of the defense
Id. at 9.
GROUND FIVE: [Movant was] denied effective assistance of
counsel when a restitution order was issued as a ...