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Crutchfield v. United States

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

August 22, 2016

ERIC DONNELL CRUTCHFIELD, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. Civil Action No. 1:16CV656

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          CLAUDE M. HILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This case is before the Court on Eric Crutfields's (the ''Petitioner") Motion To Vacate, Set Aside And/Or Correct His Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 seeking relief from his sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act ("ACCA") in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015).

         On February 7, 2008, the Petitioner was indicted on one count of felon in possession of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1), and one count of unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. 922(g) (3) . On April 9, 2008, the Petitioner pleaded guilty to the felon in possession of a firearm count, and in exchange the Government dismissed the unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm count.

         The joint Statement of Facts stipulated that, on or about December 8, 2007, the Petitioner traveled, in possession of a firearm, within the Eastern District of Virginia. While in Fairfax County, he knowingly and intentionally shot a known individual two times with the firearm. One of the bullets struck the victim in the chest and the other bullet struck the victim in the shoulder, causing the victim to have serious and life threatening injuries.

         As described in the Government's Position On Sentencing, the Petitioner's ex-girlfriend (hereinafter "NK") was the mother of Petitioner's two-year-old son. On the day of the offense, Crutchfield had several verbal altercations over the telephone with NK and her new boyfriend. That evening, the Petitioner traveled to the Fairfax home NK lived with Petitioner's son. Before approaching the home, Petitioner called the home and confirmed that NK's new boyfriend was inside the house. Immediately thereafter, Petitioner rang the doorbell and, as the boyfriend opened the door, the Petitioner opened fire on him, shooting him in the chest and shoulder. Several additional shots fired by the Petitioner entered the home, which was occupied by several people, including his two-year-old son. The Petitioner fled the scene while the victim was transported to the hospital.

         The Plea Agreement included a joint stipulation and recommendation to the Court that Petitioner was an "Armed Career Criminal" within the meaning of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), and U.S.S.G. § 4B1.4. Specifically, the parties stipulated that the Petitioner had previously been convicted of three "violent felonies" as that term is defined in ACCA, 18 U.S.C § 924(e) (2) (B) . The parties agreed that the maximum penalty for the offense was life imprisonment, and that the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment was fifteen (15) years. A description of the Petitioner's three prior felonies follows.

         On September 23, 1998, the Petitioner and three other individuals entered a video store in Washington, D.C., took out shotguns, and ordered the employees and customers to lie on the floor. The robbers placed weapons on the heads of the employees and customers and ordered them to empty their pockets. Three victims were struck in the head with a shotgun. One victim required medical attention. The robbers stole approximately $3, 000.

         The Petitioner was later identified in a photo array and was arrested. He gave a detailed written confession describing the offense and admitting his involvement in both the planning and execution of the robbery.

         On March 23, 2001, the Petitioner was convicted of two counts of D.C. Armed Robbery in violation of D.C. Code Section 22-2801 and Section 22-4502.

         On January 12, 1999, the Petitioner and two other defendants were involved in a drug-related robbery and double murder inside an apartment at 933 N Street, N.W. in Washington, D.C. The Petitioner and two other defendants went to the apartment to confront or rob drug suppliers. Once at the apartment, the two other defendants shot and killed two victims. Petitioner then seized a supply of marijuana from the apartment and fled with the co-defendants to the Sursum Corda neighborhood of D.C, where Crutchfield divided the drugs among the other participants.

         Several witnesses identified the Petitioner as one of the participants. Petitioner was arrested and gave a video confession of his involvement.

         On March 23, 2001, the Petitioner was convicted of one count of D.C. Robbery in violation of D.C. Code Section 22-2801, and one count of Accessory After the Fact to Felony Murder.

         According to charging documents, on August 2, 1999, in Arlington County, Virginia, Petitioner "maliciously wounded, or caused bodily injury to [an individual with the initials SK], with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill." Additional details about this offense are unknown.

         On November 23, 1999, the Petitioner was convicted of Malicious Wounding in ...


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