United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
Bryan Harwell, United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Petitioner Ronterick Correl
Jones's motion and supplemental motion to vacate, set
aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255. See ECF Nos. 497 & 513. The Court denies
the motions for the reasons herein.
October 2007, Petitioner pled guilty pursuant to a written
plea agreement to two counts of using and carrying a firearm
during and in relation to, and possessing the firearm in
furtherance of, a crime of violence-namely, two Hobbs Act
robberies-and aiding and abetting the same, in violation of
18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 924(c)(1)(A). See ECF Nos.
14, 241, 244, & 249. In April 2008, the Court granted the
Government's motion for a downward departure and
sentenced Petitioner to an aggregate term of twenty-two
years' imprisonment followed by five years'
supervised release. See ECF Nos. 341 & 383.
Judgment was entered on May 6, 2008. See ECF No.
383. Petitioner did not file a direct appeal or a prior
§ 2255 motion. In 2011, the Government filed a motion
pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 35(b), and the Court granted the
motion and reduced Petitioner's sentence to an aggregate
term of fifteen years' imprisonment. See ECF
Nos. 450, 457, & 460.
13, 2016,  Petitioner (proceeding pro se) filed the
instant § 2255 motion. See ECF Nos. 497 &
506. The Federal Public Defender subsequently appeared and
filed a supplemental § 2255 motion. See ECF
Nos. 512 & 513. The Government filed a response in
opposition and a motion for summary judgment. See
ECF Nos. 514 & 515. Counsel for Petitioner filed a
response in opposition to the Government's motion.
See ECF No. 520.
prisoner in federal custody may attack the validity of his
sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 by filing a motion
in the court that imposed the sentence. For a court to
vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence, a petitioner must
prove one of the following occurred: (1) the sentence was
imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the
United States; (2) the court lacked jurisdiction to impose
the sentence; (3) the sentence exceeded the maximum
authorized by law; or (4) the sentence is otherwise subject
to collateral attack. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a).
district court need not hold an evidentiary hearing on a
§ 2255 motion 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);
see United States v. Thomas, 627 F.3d 534, 538 (4th
Cir. 2010). The determination of whether to hold an
evidentiary hearing ordinarily is left to the sound
discretion of the district court. Raines v. United
States, 423 F.2d 526, 530 (4th Cir. 1970). “When
the district court denies § 2255 relief without an
evidentiary hearing, the nature of the court's ruling is
akin to a ruling on a motion for summary judgment.”
United States v. Poindexter, 492 F.3d 263, 267 (4th
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see Rule 12, Rules Governing
Section 2255 Proceedings (“The Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure . . ., to the extent that they are not inconsistent
with any statutory provisions or these rules, may be applied
to a proceeding under these rules.”). “A party
asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must
support the assertion by: (A) citing to particular parts of
materials in the record . . .; or (B) showing that the
materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a
genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce
admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c)(1). “The evidence must be viewed in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party, with all reasonable
inferences drawn in that party's favor. The court
therefore cannot weigh the evidence or make credibility
determinations.” Reyazuddin v. Montgomery
Cty., 789 F.3d 407, 413 (4th Cir. 2015) (internal
citation and quotation marks omitted).
challenges his § 924(c) convictions by arguing Hobbs Act
robbery is not a predicate “crime of violence” in
light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015). See ECF Nos. 497, 506, 513, &
The Government moves for summary judgment by arguing Hobbs
Act robbery qualifies as a crime of violence to support a
§ 924(c) conviction. See ECF Nos. 514 &
law, as codified at 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A), provides
that a person who uses or carries a firearm “during and
in relation to any crime of violence” or who
“possesses a firearm” “in furtherance of
any such crime” may be convicted of both the underlying
crime (here, Hobbs Act [robbery]) and the additional,
distinct crime of utilizing a firearm in connection with a
“crime of violence, ” with the latter punishable
by at least five consecutive years of imprisonment.”
United States v. Simms, 914 F.3d 229, 233 (4th Cir.
2019) (en banc). Section 924(c)(3) defines “the term
‘crime of violence'” as “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