United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
P. JORDAN III CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
criminal matter is before the Court on the habeas petition
 filed by Defendant Heather Elizabeth Wright-Beard
(hereinafter “Wright”). For the following
reasons, the motion is denied in part, but Wright's
former counsel and the Government will be instructed to
respond as to Ground Two of the Petition.
November 28, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Wright on a
charge of being a felon in the possession of a firearm.
Wright was first represented by attorney Lisa Ross. When Ross
withdrew, attorney Tom Rich was appointed, and the case
proceeded to trial on June 13, 2018. The following day,
Wright was late for Court and gave an excuse the Court
doubted. She then violated a Court order by leaving the
building during lunch. This and other strange behavior
prompted the Court to order a drug test that confirmed the
use of methamphetamines. Despite the positive test results,
Wright lied to the Court and denied drug use. Based on her
impaired capacity, the Court declared a mistrial and reset
the second trial commenced, Wright announced her intent to
change her plea and did so on June 26, 2018. Significantly,
Wright waived her right to bring a motion for post-conviction
relief, including but not limited to a motion filed under 28
U.S.C. § 2255. Dissatisfied with the eventual sentence,
Wright is now before the Court under § 2255.
28 U.S.C. § 2255, a prisoner in custody may move under
limited circumstances to “vacate, set aside or correct
the sentence.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). When a
petition is filed, the Court must provide notice to the
United States attorney and grant a prompt hearing
“[u]nless the motion and the files and records of the
case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). In this case, three
of the four grounds for relief can be decided on the record.
Grounds for Relief
Petition, Wright identifies four grounds for relief: (1) the
search leading to her indictment violated the Fourth
Amendment; (2) her attorneys were ineffective in failing to
file a motion to suppress based on the unlawful search; (3)
trial counsel “persuaded” her to forego appeal;
and (4) her trial attorney did not sufficiently challenge
sentencing issues. See Pet.  at 15-18. In
addition to these articulated grounds for vacating her
sentence, Wright attaches an affidavit and a memorandum
raising other issues related to her attorney's
performance and the sentence that was imposed.
Ground One, Invalid Search
begins her petition with a challenge to the validity of the
search that uncovered the firearm she possessed in her
residence. Wright has waived this argument.
Wright signed the Plea Agreement, she waived “the right
to contest the conviction and sentence or the manner in which
the sentence was imposed in any post-conviction proceeding,
including but not limited to a motion brought under Title 28,
United States Code, Section 2255.” Plea Agreement 
waivers are generally enforceable when, as in this case, the
defendant knowingly and voluntarily agrees to waive her right
to pursue post-conviction proceedings. See United
States v. White, 307 F.3d 336, 343 (5th Cir. 2002).
During the plea hearing, the Court specifically confirmed
that Wright read the Plea Agreement, discussed it with her
attorney, fully understood it, and was not forced to sign it.
As for the waivers, Wright confirmed that she
“knowingly and voluntarily” agreed to waive the
right to file a motion under § 2255. Finally, the Plea
Agreement itself included the following representation:
Defendant and Defendant's attorney of record declare that
the terms of this pica ...