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Coleman v. United States

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 25, 2014

KENNETH COLEMAN, Movant/Defendant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent/Plaintiff.

Kenneth Coleman. Pro se movant.

Mark Lee. Assistant United States Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

SUE L. ROBINSON, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Kenneth Coleman ("movant") is a federal inmate currently confined at the Petersburg Low Federal Correctional Institution in Petersburg, Virginia. Movant timely filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (D. I. 21) The government filed an answer in opposition. (D. I. 44) For the reasons discussed, the court will deny movant's § 2255 motion without holding an evidentiary hearing.

II. BACKGROUND

In August 2009, the Grand Jury for the District of Delaware returned a two count indictment charging movant with distribution of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A), and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C). (D.I. 2) Movant executed a memorandum of plea agreement and entered a guilty plea to both counts on December 8, 2009. (D. I. 15) Included in the memorandum of plea agreement was an admission by movant indicating that:

(1) on or about April 14, 2009, he distributed a controlled substance; (2) that he distributed the controlled substance knowingly and intentionally; (3) that the controlled substance was a mixture and substance containing a detectible amount of cocaine base; and (4) that the controlled substance weighed fifty (50) grams or more.

(D.I. 15 at ¶ 14) Movant further admitted that he was "responsible for at least 50 grams but less than 150 grams of cocaine base as relevant conduct under U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1 (c)(3)." Id. On March 15, 2010, the court sentenced movant to seventy-two months of incarceration. (D.I. 17 at 2) Movant did not file a direct appeal.

In November 2010, movant filed a motion for the retroactive application of sentencing guidelines to crack cocaine offenses pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582. (D. I. 18) The court denied the motion on February 7, 2011 (D.I. 18), and movant did not appeal that decision.

In April 2011, movant filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence by a person in federal custody pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (D.I. 21) Movant then filed an amendment to his§ 2255 motion, which primarily described in more detail the arguments presented in his§ 2255 motion. (D.I. 26) In November 2011, movant filed another motion for reduction of sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582. (D.I. 30) Soon thereafter, movant filed a motion to amend his § 2255 motion by including the arguments in his recently filed § 3582 motion, which the court granted. (D.I. 33; D.l. 34) The court also ordered the government to respond to movant's amended § 2255 motion. (D. I. 34) After obtaining defense counsel's affidavit in response to movant's allegations of ineffective assistance, the government filed an answer in opposition. (D.I. 44)

III. DISCUSSION

Movant timely filed his motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, and then amended his motion. As amended, the§ 2255 motion asserts the following grounds for relief: (1) defense counsel was ineffective for failing to file a notice of appeal as requested; (2) counsel provided ineffective assistance during the plea negotiations;[1] (3) defense counsel did not properly advocate for him at the sentencing hearing; and (4) his sentence ...


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