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United States v. Baylor

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

February 16, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
TROY DOUGLAS BAYLOR, Petitioner.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

James R. Spencer Judge

Troy Douglas Baylor, a federal inmate proceeding pro se, brings this motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence ("§ 2255 Motion, " ECF No. 130).[1] Baylor contends that, in conjunction with his conviction and sentencing, his trial and appellate counsel were ineffective, [2] the Court committed several errors, and the Government engaged in misconduct. Specifically, Baylor demands relief because:

Claim One: "Violation of 6th Amendment right under Alleyne [v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013)] when Court at sentencing determined which conviction was second or subsequent." (§ 2255 Mot. 4.)
Claim Two: "Court lacked jurisdiction over robbery, where ... effect on interstate commerce was not properly established." (Id. at 5.)
Claim Three: "Outrageous government conduct/manufacturing evidence." (Id. at 7.)
Claim Four: "Cumulative error doctrine." (Id. at 8.)
Claim Five: "Violation of constitutional right of equal protection under law as prosecutor was aware of the disproportion of stacking § 924(c) on African Americans." (Mem. Supp. § 2255 Mot. 11, ECF No. 131.)
Claim Six: "Ineffective assistance of counsel." (Id. at 13.)
Claim Seven: "Petitioner asserts he is actually innocent of all his counts of conviction." (Id. at 14.)

The Government has responded, asserting that Baylor's claims lack merit. (ECF No. 145-1.) Baylor has filed a Reply. (ECF No. 150.) For the following reasons, Baylor's § 2255 Motion (ECF No. 130) will be DENIED.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On March 1, 2011, a grand jury charged Baylor with: conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats and violence (Count One); interference with commerce by threats and violence (Counts Two, Five, Eight, and Eleven); use and carry of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence (Counts Three, Six, Nine, and Twelve); and possession of a firearm by a felon (Counts Four, Seven, Ten, and Thirteen). (Indictment 1-8, ECF No. 1.) On January 30, 2012, the Government filed a motion to dismiss Counts Five through Ten. (ECF No. 79.) The Court granted the Government's motion by Order entered on February 1, 2012. (ECF No. 81.) Following a jury trial, Baylor was convicted of all remaining counts. (ECF No. 88, at 1-3.) On April 24, 2012, the Court entered judgment against Baylor and sentenced him to a total of 624 months of imprisonment. (Am. J. 3, ECF No. 125.)

Baylor, through counsel, filed a Notice of Appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. (ECF No. 108.) On appeal, Baylor argued that "the district court abused its discretion by rejecting [his] proposed voir dire questions regarding eyewitness identification; excluding the testimony of [his] eyewitness identification expert; refusing [his] proposed jury instructions regarding eyewitness identification; and admitting certain testimony offered by the Government's DNA expert." United States v.Baylor, 537 F.App'x 149, 151 (4th Cir. 2013). Baylor also argued that "the Government presented insufficient evidence to support a finding that the object used or carried during one of the robberies met the statutory definition of a 'firearm.'" Id. Alternatively, Baylor contended that the seven-year sentence imposed for one violation of 18 U.S.C. ยง 924(c) was ...


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