United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
L. WOOTEN SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court for consideration of the
petition to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 filed by Petitioner John Astrin
Matthews. For the reasons stated below, the petition is
Factual and Procedural History
was charged with and pled guilty to being a felon in
possession of a firearm, and the Court sentenced him to 186
months incarceration. ECF No. 28.
sentencing, Petitioner was classified as an armed career
criminal under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), which
imposes a mandatory minimum fifteen-year sentence on a felon
who possesses a firearm and who has three or more prior
convictions for committing certain drug crimes or
“violent felon[ies].” 18 U.S.C. §
924(e)(1). His Presentence Investigation Report (PSR)
did not specifically state which offenses were classified as
ACCA predicate convictions, but it appears that the following
convictions were counted:
(1) Aggravated Assault With Weapon (Florida) (PSR ¶ 24);
(2) Burglary, 2nd Degree (South Carolina) (PSR ¶ 27);
(3) Threatening the Life of a Public Official (South
Carolina) (PSR ¶ 28);
(4) Possession of Cocaine With Intent to Deliver (Florida)
(PSR ¶ 30).
judgment was entered, Petitioner filed a direct appeal, but
the Fourth Circuit affirmed. United States v.
Matthews, 164 Fed.Appx. 379 (4th Cir. 2006). The Supreme
Court denied his petition for a writ of certiorari.
Matthews v. United States, 126 S.Ct. 2050 (2006).
Petitioner's § 2255 petition, he challenges his
aggravated assault, burglary, and threatening convictions,
asserting that, in light of Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015) and other cases, he no
longer has the requisite No. of ACCA predicate convictions
and is therefore entitled to a resentencing without the ACCA
enhancement. The Government filed a motion for summary
judgment, asserting that the aggravated assault, threating,
and drug convictions still qualify as predicates and that he
remains an armed career criminal. ECF Nos. 50, 51. He filed a
response in opposition to the Government's motion. ECF
matter is now ripe for decision.
28 U.S.C. § 2255
2255 provides that a prisoner in custody under sentence of a
federal court may file a petition in the court that imposed
the sentence to vacate, set aside, or correct the sentence. A
petitioner is entitled to relief under § 2255 if he
proves by a preponderance of the evidence one of the
following: (1) that the sentence was imposed in violation of
the Constitution or laws of the United States; (2) that the
court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence; (3)
that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by
law; or (4) that the ...