United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION (GRANTING GOVERNMENT'S
E. HUDSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on the Government's Unopposed
Motion to Correct Sentence, filed September 11, 2017.
("Motion to Correct, " ECF No. 72.) The Motion to
Correct addressed Timothy M. Williams's Second Amended
§ 2255 Motion and recommended that the Court reduce his
sentence to 120 months. The Court issued an Order granting
the Government's Motion to Correct on the same day that
it was filed. (ECF No. 73.) The Order indicated that a
Memorandum Opinion articulating the Court's reasoning
would be forthcoming. For the reasons discussed below, the
Court granted the Government's recommended relief and
further ordered that Williams be released from confinement.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Johnson v. United States, the Supreme Court
described the impact of the Armed Career Criminal Act
("ACCA") on federal gun laws and noted that:
Federal law forbids certain people-such as convicted felons,
persons committed to mental institutions, and drug users-to
ship, possess, and receive firearms. § 922(g). In
general, the law punishes violations] of this ban by up to 10
years' imprisonment. § 924(a)(2). But if the
violator has three or more earlier convictions for a
"serious drug offense" or a "violent felony,
" the [ACCA] increases his prison term to a minimum of
15 years and a maximum of life. § 924(e)(1).
135 S.Ct. 2551, 2555 (2015) (citations omitted).
ACCA defines a violent felony as: "any crime punishable
by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" and
"(i) has as an element the use, attempted use, or
threatened use of physical force against the person of
another; or (ii) is burglary, arson, or extortion, involves
use of explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that
presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to
another" 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B) (emphasis
added). "The closing words of this definition,
italicized above, have come to be known as the Act's
residual clause." Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2556.
In Johnson, the Supreme Court held that the residual
clause of the ACCA is unconstitutionally vague. Id.
pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). United States
v. Williams, 223 Fed.Appx. 280, 280-81 (4th Cir. 2007).
The Presentence Report ("PSR") "concluded that
Williams qualified as an armed career criminal under the
[ACCA], 18 U.S.C.A. § 924(e) (West 2000 & Supp.
2006), meaning that he was subject to a mandatory minimum
sentence of not less than fifteen years' (180
months') imprisonment." Id. at 281. At
sentencing, the Court determined "that Williams had five
qualifying prior felony convictions under the ACCA: two
burglary convictions, one consolidated larceny from the
person conviction, and two robbery convictions."
Id. The Court sentenced Williams to 210 months of
imprisonment and five years supervised released. (ECF No.
appealed and challenged the determination that he had
"three qualifying predicate felonies under the
ACCA." Williams, 223 Fed.Appx. at 282. The
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
affirmed the judgment of this Court. Id. at 285.
11, 2016, Williams filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255
to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence. (ECF No. 50,
at 12.) The Court appointed Williams counsel and granted
Williams's requests to file an Amended § 2255 Motion
and subsequently a Second Amended § 2255 Motion. (ECF
Nos. 51, 53, 57-1, 61.) In his Second Amended § 2255
Motion, the Court construed Williams to argue:
Claim One: In light of United States v. Descamps,
133 S.Ct. 2276 (2013), Williams's prior convictions for
burglary and robbery fail to qualify as predicate offenses
for imposing an enhanced sentence under ACCA.
Claim Two: Williams's prior conviction for larceny from
the person no longer qualifies as an ACCA predicate in the
wake of Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(ECF No. 60, at 5.)
Order entered on December 7, 2016, the Court denied the
Second Amended § 2255 Motion. ("§ 2255 Denial
Order, " ECF No. 61.) In an accompanying Memorandum
Opinion, the Court found that Claim One was untimely and that
any error raised by Claim Two was harmless, because Williams
still had four violent felonies to support his enhanced
sentence under the ACCA. (ECF No. 60, at 5.) Williams
appealed the denial of his Second Amended § 2255 Motion.
(ECF No. 62.) While his appeal was still pending, the
Government filed an unopposed motion requesting that the
Fourth Circuit vacate the § 2255 ...