Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Woods v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Bluefield Division

January 29, 2018

BRADY WOODS, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

          DWANE L. TINSLEY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Pending before the court is Movant's pro se Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody (ECF No. 112), as amended by the documents in ECF Nos. 127-129. This matter is assigned to the Honorable David A. Faber, Senior United States District Judge. By Standing Order, Movant's motion was referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for the submission of proposed findings of fact and a recommendation for disposition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B).

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On February 4, 2012, Movant, Brady Woods (hereinafter “Defendant”) was charged in a criminal complaint filed in this court with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). (ECF No. 1). On February 4, 2012, Defendant appeared before a United States Magistrate Judge for an initial appearance, and subsequently appeared for a preliminary and detention hearing on February 8, 2012. At that hearing, Defendant's counsel moved for a competency evaluation, which was granted and Defendant was remanded to custody for that purpose. (ECF No. 7). On July 6, 2012, Defendant appeared for a competency and detention hearing at which he was found to be competent and was detained. (ECF No. 15). He waived his preliminary hearing. (ECF No. 17).

         On July 17, 2012, Defendant was indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). (ECF No. 18). On October 9, 2012, Defendant appeared with his initial court-appointed counsel, Mary Lou Newberger, at a hearing to enter a guilty plea. However, during the hearing, Defendant requested new counsel and stated that he no longer wished to plead guilty. The District Court granted the motion for new counsel and, on October 16, 2012, attorney William S. Winfrey was appointed to represent Defendant and Defendant's trial was continued. (ECF Nos. 32-35).

         On January 15, 2013, a federal grand jury returned a five-count superseding indictment against Defendant, charging him with the following crimes: two counts of distribution of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (Counts One and Two); one count of possession with intent to distribute more than 280 grams of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (Count Three); one count of possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (Count Four); and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (Count Five).

         On April 1, 2013, a pre-trial motions hearing was held at which the district court considered Defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized during the search of his home on February 3, 2012. (ECF No. 65). On April 8, 2013, the district court denied the motion to suppress. See United States v. Woods, No. 1:12-cr-00157, 2013 WL 12107462 (S.D. W.Va. Apr. 8, 2013) (also docketed as ECF No. 67).

         On April 10, 2013, Defendant appeared for trial on the superseding indictment, and on April 11, 2013, he was found guilty on all of the counts therein. (ECF No. 79). On June 25, 2013, the district court denied Defendant's motion for a new trial. United States v. Woods, no. 1:12-cr-00157, 2013 WL 12109522 (June 25, 2013) (also docketed as ECF No. 87).

         On October 7, 2013, Defendant was sentenced to 228 months in prison, followed by a five-year term of supervised release, and a $500 special assessment. In arriving at Defendant's sentence, the district court found that his total offense level under the United States Sentencing Guidelines for Counts One through Four was 34, with a criminal history category of II. The Defendant's criminal history category was calculated based upon prior convictions detailed in paragraphs 61, 62 and 65 of his Presentenced Investigation Report (“PSR”), which is filed under seal in ECF No. 100. A guideline offense level of 34 and a criminal history category of II resulted in a sentencing guideline range of 168-210 months in prison. Defendant was sentenced at the bottom of the guideline range for Counts One through Four. Defendant was also subject to a consecutive five-year (60 month) sentence on the firearm offense in Count Five.

         On October 9, 2013, Defendant filed an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit asserting that the district court erred when it denied his motion to suppress. On April 9, 2014, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment and found no error in the district court's determination of the reasonableness of the search of defendant's house. United States v. Woods, No. 13-4791, 565 Fed.Appx. 259 (4th Cir. Apr. 9, 2014) (also docketed as ECF No. 108).

         On October 21, 2014, Defendant filed the instant section 2255 motion, asserting the following grounds for relief:

1. The prosecution withheld Brady material regarding a government witness and the agent's notes of the witness's debriefing and the redacted transcript of his debriefing, in violation of the Fifth Amendment right to due process.
2. The search of the front porch was in violation of the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and should have been suppressed.
3. The prosecution violated the Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause by using perjured testimony.
4. Ineffective assistance of appellate counsel due to his failure to investigate deficiencies of the presentence report and failure to send documents to Defendant that were requested in preparation of further litigation of conviction.

(ECF No. 112 at 4-5).

         On January 14, 2016, Defendant filed a motion to amend his section 2255 motion seeking to add a fifth ground for relief, which states as follows:

5. Government violated due process guarantees by overstepping state jurisdiction in a state criminal matter. The State of West Virginia had jurisdiction, and by assuming jurisdiction without letting state arraign petitioner violated petitioner's rights under due process.

(ECF No. 118).

         On May 4, 2016, pursuant to the undersigned's Order, the United States of America (hereinafter “the Government”) filed a Response to Defendant's section 2255 motion. (ECF No. 126). Then, more than a month later, and nearly two years after filing his initial motion, on June 22, 2016, Defendant filed two Affidavits in support of his section 2255 motion (ECF Nos. 127 and 128), and another motion, titled “28 U.S.C. § 2255 Motion to Correct Sentence” (ECF No. 129), which was docketed as another motion to amend the section 2255 motion. The single issue raised in this second motion to amend appears to be an expansion of Defendant's claim of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel raised in Ground Four of his initial section 2255 motion, which is further supported by Defendant's Affidavits. The second motion to amend asserts, in pertinent part, as follows:

Petitioner's sentence was in violation of his substantial rights and must be corrected, due to his appellate counsel's negligence in looking into his criminal history. Petitioner's appellate counsel never once contacted his previous attorney for charges that his presentence report's information consisted of after Petitioner specifically informed him of a defect in his presentence report.

(Id. at 1). In support of this claim, Defendant relies upon Molina-Martinez v. UnitedStates, 136 S.Ct. 1338 (2016), a decision addressing whether an incorrect sentencing guideline calculation constituted ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.