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Kendall v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division

August 30, 2018

MICHAEL ROBBIE KENDALL MOVANT
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA RESPONDENT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          NEAL BIGGERS SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Federal inmate Michael Robbie Kendall (“Kendall”) comes before the Court on a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The Government has responded to Kendall's claims, and Kendall has filed a reply. Having considered the pleadings and the record, along with the relevant law, the Court finds that an evidentiary hearing is unnecessary[1], and the motion should be denied.

         I. Background Facts and Procedural History

         Kendall murdered Devan Lowery in June 1999 by shooting him in the head with a semiautomatic rifle at Puskus Lake in Holly Springs National Forest. Kendall was indicted on two counts: Count One, First Degree Murder, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 7 and 1111; and Count Two, Using a Firearm In Relation to a Crime of Violence which Caused Death, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 924(j)(1). See Doc. #1. On July 13, 2000, Kendall pleaded guilty to Counts One and Two of the Indictment. As part of the binding plea agreement, Kendall waived his right to appeal and/or collaterally attack his convictions and/or sentences, and the Government agreed to withdraw its notice of intent to seek the death penalty. Kendall was sentenced to life imprisonment by judgment entered August 16, 2000. See Doc. #41. On or about March 19, 2018, Kendall filed the instant § 2255 motion.[2]

         II. Legal Standard

         After a defendant has been convicted and exhausted his appeal rights, a court may presume that “he stands fairly and finally convicted.” United States v. Frady, 456 U.S. 152, 164 (1982). A motion brought pursuant to § 2255 is a “means of collateral attack on a federal sentence.” Cox v. Warden, Federal Detention Ctr., 911 F.2d 1111, 1113 (5th Cir. 1990) (citation omitted). There are four separate grounds upon which a federal prisoner may move to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255: (1) the judgment was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States; (2) the court was without jurisdiction to impose the judgment; (3) the sentence exceeds the statutory maximum sentence; or (4) the judgment or sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Collateral attack limits a movant's allegations to those of “constitutional or jurisdictional magnitude.” United States v. Samuels, 59 F.3d 526, 528 (5th Cir. 1995) (citation omitted). Relief under § 2255 is reserved, therefore, for violations of “constitutional rights and for that narrow compass of other injury 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. 1981).

         III. Analysis

         A. Timeliness

         A motion filed under § 2255 must comply with the statute's one-year period of limitation, which runs from the latest of:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the ...

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