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Bryant v. United States

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division

March 6, 2017

Terron Lamar Bryant, Petitioner,
v.
United States of America, Respondent.

          ORDER

          PATRICK MICHAEL DUFFY United States District Judge.

         Terron Lamar Bryant moves to vacate, set aside, or correct his federal conviction and prison sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (ECF No. 67). For the reasons stated herein, the Court denies Bryant's § 2255 motion.

         BACKGROUND

         In 2010, Bryant pled guilty to assaulting, robbing, and putting in jeopardy the life of a person having lawful custody of United States mail matter, see 18 U.S.C. § 2114(a), and to using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, see 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). The Court sentenced Bryant to 46 months on the § 2114(a) charge and 84 consecutive months on the § 924(c) charge. Bryant did not appeal.

         Bryant filed his § 2255 motion on June 9, 2016, alleging that his § 924(c) conviction and sentence are unconstitutional under Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). On August 24, the Government responded by filing a motion to dismiss, in which it argued only that Bryant's § 2255 motion is untimely. The Court denied the motion to dismiss on January 17, 2017, and ordered further briefing on the merits. Thereafter, the Government filed a supplemental brief. Bryant did not file a reply. This matter is therefore ripe for consideration.

         APPLICABLE LAW

         Bryant proceeds under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which provides, in relevant part:

A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States . . . may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.

28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). On a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence under § 2255, the petitioner bears the burden of proving the grounds for collateral attack by a preponderance of the evidence. Miller v. United States, 261 F.2d 546, 547 (4th Cir. 1958). In deciding a § 2255 motion, the district court need not hold a hearing if “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).

         DISCUSSION

         18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A) provides for the punishment of anyone “who, during and in relation to any crime of violence or drug trafficking crime . . ., uses or carries a firearm, or who, in furtherance of any such crime, possesses a firearm.” “Crime of violence” in § 924(c)(1) means an offense that is a felony and-

(A) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or
(B) that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3). Bryant's § 2114(a) charge served as the predicate crime of violence for his ...


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