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Hill v. Coakley

United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Martinsburg

April 20, 2018

KARL KEVIN HILL, Petitioner,
JOE COAKLEY, Warden, Respondent.




         On August 3, 2017, Petitioner Karl Kevin Hill ("Petitioner" or "Defendant"), an inmate at Hazelton Satellite Prison Camp, acting pro se, filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (the "Petition"). ECF No. 1.[1] The matter is now before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for a Report and Recommendation to the District Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and LR PL P 2. For the reasons set forth below, this Court recommends that the Petition be denied and dismissed without prejudice.


         A. Conviction and Sentence[2]

         On December 15, 2004, a three count indictment was returned in case number 2:04-CR-30, which charged Petitioner with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute "crank", possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime. ECF No. 1. On February 15, 2005, a superseding indictment[3] was returned which charged Petitioner with: drug conspiracy involving marijuana and methamphetamine in Count 1, in violation of 21 U.S.C §§ 841(b)(1)(B), 846, and 851; possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug crime in Count 2; and which named Petitioner in Forfeiture Allegation 1. ECF No. 23.

         In an unpublished per curiam opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit described the facts as follows:

On September 22, 2004, police officers went to Karl Kevin Hill's home in search of a fugitive. The officers knew that Hill was a convicted felon. Sergeant Cunningham knocked on the front door and announced his presence. When no one responded, he pushed inside, he was met by Hill, who stated that the fugitive had left and refused permission to search the house. Cunningham asked another individual in the house what his name was, and he identified himself. When Cunningham stated that he too was a fugitive, the individual fled toward the back of the house. Cunningham pursued, and during this brief pursuit, he noticed a rifle in plain view.
While other officers detained the fugitive, Cunningham arrested Hill for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Meanwhile, two officers who had walked behind the house smelled the "chokingly strong" odor of a methamphetamine laboratory coming from a trailer behind the residence. They asked Hill for permission to search his trailer, and Hill said that the trailer did not belong to him, and instead was owned by his sister. Hill told the officers where his sister lived, and they traveled to her home to seek permission to search the trailer. Hill's sister gave written consent, stating that she was the owner of the trailer, and the police officers found an operational methamphetamine laboratory inside.
Hill moved to suppress items seized during the search of his home and of his sister's trailer. The district court suppressed the items seized from his home, including the firearm, finding that Cunningham improperly entered Hill's home without a warrant or exigent circumstances. The court denied the motion to suppress evidence found in the trailer, reasoning that Hill had no Fourth Amendment interest in the trailer because he denied ownership or control.
On April 15, 2005, Hill pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine. Hill was released pending sentencing to permit him to cooperate with the Government in hopes of earning a substantial assistance departure. However, once on release, Hill made no attempts to assist the authorities.
On February 13, 2006, Hill moved to withdraw his guilty plea, stating that, while in police custody, he had been denied medical assistance for his serious knee injury. Because the Government had informed him that, if he pled guilty, they would not oppose his motion for bond, Hill pled guilty in order to be released from prison and seek medical attention. Thus, he claimed that his plea was coerced and given under duress.

ECF No. 158-2 at 2 - 4. On April 15, 2005, when Petitioner entered his plea of guilty to Count 1 of the superseding indictment, Count 2 and the forfeiture were dismissed. ECF Nos. 59, 60, 88.

         Petitioner's February 13, 2006, motion to withdraw his guilty plea was filed on the same date that Petitioner's counsel moved to withdraw from representing Petitioner. The motion to withdraw asserted that there was an irreparable breakdown in the attorney client relationship. ECF Nos. 75, 76. On February 15, 2006, the United States filed an objection to Petitioner's motion to withdraw his guilty plea. ECF No. 77, On February 23, 2006, the Court appointed new counsel to represent Petitioner. ECF No. 82. On April 4, 2006, Petitioner filed an affidavit and documents in support of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. On May 9, 2006, the presiding Magistrate Judge held a hearing on Petitioner's February 13, 2006, motion to withdraw his guilty plea. ECF Nos. 117, 122. On June 7, 2006, the Magistrate submitted a Report and Recommendation that recommended Petitioner's motion to withdraw his guilty plea be denied. ECF Nos. 119.

         On June 30, 2006, the District Court entered an order which adopted the Report and Recommendation, and which thoroughly examined and rejected Petitioner's claims. ECF No. 122 at 4 - 6. On October 2, 2006, a Presentence investigation Report ("PSR") was filed with the Court. ECF No. 133. Petitioner's PSR stated in part that during the law enforcement search, "[b]ack at the house, approximately] 250 grams of marijuana and several guns were found in the defendant's bedroom. More weapons were found in a wash room, and one of the shotguns was loaded." ECF No. 133 at 7, ¶ 36. The PSR further stated that under the "specific offense characteristic" section that, "[t]he defendant possessed firearms. Therefore, pursuant to U.S.S.G. §2D1.1(b)(1), a 2 level increase is recommended." ECF No. 133 at 11, ¶ 55. The PSR notes that the "minimum term of imprisonment is 10 years and the maximum term of imprisonment is life." ECF No. 133 at 20, ¶ 95[4]. On October 2, 2006, the Court adopted the PSR without change, and sentenced Petitioner to 120 months of incarceration, the minimum term of imprisonment. ECF Nos. 133-1, 131.

         On October 8, 2006, Petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in that Court's case number 06-5068. ECF No. 135. On August 15, 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed Petitioner's conviction in an unpublished per curium opinion. ECF Nos. 155, 158, 158-2.

         8. Petitioner's Motion to Vacate Under § 2255

         On April 16, 2008, Petitioner filed a pro se motion to vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. ECF No. 160. Following the filing of additional pleadings by the Petitioner and Respondent, on October 28, 2009, a Report and Recommendation was fiied by United States Magistrate Judge John S. Kaull, which recommended the motion to vacate be denied and the case dismissed with prejudice. ECF No. 198. On March 26, 2010, the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation was adopted by United States District Court Judge John Preston Bailey. ECF No. 207. On April 2, 2010, Petitioner filed a notice of appeal of Judge Bailey's order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in that court's case number 10-6500. ECF No. 209. On August 30, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied Petitioner a certificate of appealability and dismissed his appeal in an unpublished per curiam opinion. ECF Nos. 224, 225, C. Petitioner's First Petition for Habeas Corpus Under § 2241[5]

         On December 23, 2011, Petitioner filed a petition for habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in case number 1:11-CV-206. ECF No. 1. Petitioner asserted that his conviction was based on fraud, misrepresentation and false testimony. ECF Nos 1, 5 at 5. On January 19, 2012, the presiding United States Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation that the petition be denied and dismissed with prejudice. ECF No. 9. On October 10, 2012, the District Court entered an "Order Adopting in part the Report and Recommendation", which denied the § 2241 petition, denied as moot Petitioner's motion to supplement the record, and dismissed the matter without prejudice. ECF No. 13.

         D. Prison ...

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