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Williams v. Warden

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

January 28, 2019

MARSHALL DEWAYNE WILLIAMS, Petitioner
v.
WARDEN, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          MICHAEL F. URBANSKI, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This case is before the court on pro se petitioner Marshall Dewayne Williams's request for habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.[1] On May 14, 2018, Respondent, the Warden of the United States Penitentiary in Lee County, Virginia, filed a motion to dismiss as second or successive, or, in the alternative, for summary judgment, to which Williams responded on September 18, 2018. For the reasons set forth below, the court grants Respondent's motion to dismiss, or, alternatively, for summary judgment, and denies Williams's request for habeas relief.

         BACKGROUND

         On February 2, 1984, Williams was arrested by Texas state authorities and charged with murder for an offense which occurred on January 27, 1984. ECF Nos. 18-1 at ¶ 5 and 18-5 at 2. The offense was described as destroying a newspaper dispenser by bomb, resulting in the death of another, and also possession of an unregistered firearm. ECF No. 18-4 at 1.

         On June 7, 1984, Williams was charged in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in cause number CR3-84-148-G with maliciously damaging and destroying by means of an explosive bomb property being used in an activity affecting interstate commerce and resulting in the death of another (Count 1); possession of a firearm as defined by registration and transfer record (Count 2); and unlawfully making a firearm and using an explosive to commit a felony (Count 3). ECF No. 18-1 at ¶ 6. On December 12, 1984, Williams was sentenced to life in prison on Count 1, a 10-year sentence on Count 2, and a 10-year sentence on Count 3, all to run consecutively to one another. Id. at ¶ 7 and ECF No. 18-2. On December 13, 1984 the sentence was amended to show that the 10-year sentences for Counts 2 and 3 were to run concurrently with one another, but consecutively to Count 1. ECF Nos. 18-1 at ¶ 6 and 18-3.

         On December 14, 1984 the United States Marshals Service filed a detainer with the Texas state authorities. ECF No. 18-1 at ¶ 9. Williams was convicted on two counts of murder in two different Texas state courts on February 8, 1985, and February 21, 1985 respectively, and sentenced to two 50-year terms of incarceration, both of which were to run concurrently with his federal sentence. Id. at ¶¶ 10, 12 and ECF No. 18-5. Williams was released by Texas back into federal custody on February 19, 1985. ECF Nos. 18-1 at ¶11 and 18-4.

         On November 13, 1985 Williams's federal sentence stemming from the bombing was amended to impose a 99-year term of incarceration on Count 1, and 10-year terms on Counts 2 and 3 to run concurrently with each other and consecutively to Count 1, for a total sentence of 109 years. ECF No. 18-1 at ¶13. On August 11, 2005 Williams was released to mandatory supervision on die state charges while still in federal custody. ECF No. 18-5 at 1.

         On May 14, 2008 Williams was indicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee in cause number 2:08-cr-20161-01-D on one count of mailing threatening communications. Id. at ¶15 and ECF No. 18-7. Williams was found guilty of that offense and on February 27, 2009 he was sentenced to a term of 60 months, to run consecutively to the 109-year sentence. ECF No. 18-1 at ¶ 16 and ECF No. 18-8. The judgment was amended on November 26, 2012 to a 96-month term of imprisonment, to run consecutively to the undischarged sentence for the bombing and one of the state murder sentences. ECF Nos. 18-1 at ¶ 17 and ECF No. 18-9.

         Williams argues that his sentences are not being calculated correctly and that he is entitled to release. In particular, he argues that (1) he is entitled to aggregate his "old-law" sentences related to the bombing and have the parole calculation made on a total sentence of 109 years rather than separately on the 99-year sentence and the 10-year sentences; (2) Respondent refused to grant him the good time and industrial good time he has earned; and . (3) His mandatory parole date was miscalculated and he was entitled to release on parole after serving more than 30 years.

         In Respondent's motion to dismiss and, alternatively, motion for summary judgment, he argues that Williams's petition should be dismissed as an abuse of the writ and that his claims should be denied on the merits because his sentence is being calculated correctly and he is not entitled to release. Williams responds that his petition is not subject to dismissal for abuse of the writ and that he is entitled to the relief he seeks.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Abuse of the Writ

         Respondent argues that Williams's habeas application should be dismissed based on the principle of "abuse of the writ." The habeas statute addressing second or successive petitions provides the following:

No circuit or district judge shall be required to entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus to inquire into the detention of a person pursuant to a judgment of a court of the United States if it appears that the legality of such detention has been determined by a judge or court of the United States on a ...

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