United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
HANNAH LAUCK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Douglas Baylor, a federal inmate proceeding with counsel,
brings this successive motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence
("§ 2255 Motion," ECF No. 169; see
also Mem. Supp. § 2255 Mot, ECF No.
194). Baylor contends that his convictions and
sentences are invalid under Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). The Government filed its
Response contending that Baylor's claims lack merit. (ECF
No. 200.) Baylor has filed a Reply. (ECF No. 203.) For the
reasons stated below, the § 2255 Motion will be DENIED.
March 1, 2011, a grand jury charged Baylor with: conspiracy
to interfere with commerce by threats and violence, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a) ("Hobbs Act
robbery") (Count One); four additional counts of Hobbs
Act robbery (Counts Two, Five, Eight, and Eleven); use and
carry of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) and 2
(Counts Three, Six, Nine, and Twelve); and possession of a
firearm by a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
922(g)(1) and 2. (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
as to Baylor and his co-defendant and brother, James Baylor.
(ECF No. 79.) The Court granted the Government's motion
by Order entered on February 1, 2012. (ECF No. 81.) Following
trial, a jury convicted Baylor of all the remaining counts.
(ECF No. 88, at 1-3.) During sentencing, the Court determined
that Baylor qualified as a career offender under United
States Sentencing Guidelines ("USSG") §§
4B 1.1 (c)(2)(A) and 4B1.4 in light of his prior convictions
for crimes of violence. (PSR ¶ 99, ECF No.
165.) Additionally, Baylor qualified for an
enhanced statutory sentence under the Armed Career Criminal
Act ("ACCA") based on these prior convictions.
(Id.) 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.)
through counsel, filed a Notice of Appeal to the United
States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. (ECF No.
108.) The Fourth Circuit affirmed this Court's judgment.
(ECF Nos. 126, 127.) On December 2, 2013, the United States
Supreme Court denied Baylor's petition for a writ of
certiorari. Baylor v. United States, 134 S.Ct. 717
Memorandum Opinion and Order entered on February 16, 2016,
the Court denied Baylor's first § 2255 motion.
United States v. Baylor, No. 3:11CR64, 2016 WL
659100, at *l-7 (E.D. Va. Feb. 16, 2016); (see ECF
Nos. 156, 157.) On July 19, 2016, the Fourth Circuit granted
Baylor permission to file a successive § 2255 motion
based on Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015). (ECF No. 174.)
Johnson v. United States
Johnson v. United States, the Supreme Court described
the impact of 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 violation[s] 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. at 2555 (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
struck down the ACCA's residual clause as
unconstitutionally vague. Id. at 2557.
§ 2255 Motion and accompanying Memorandum in Support,
Baylor raises three Johnson-bassd. challenges to his
convictions and sentence:
Claim One: Baylor no longer qualifies for the career offender
enhancement under the United States Sentencing Guidelines
Claim Two: Baylor's firearm convictions under 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(c) are invalidated; and,
Claim Three: Baylor no longer qualifies for an enhanced