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Joshua O'neal Vincent v. United States of America

January 13, 2013

JOSHUA O'NEAL VINCENT
MOVANT/DEFENDANT
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA RESPONDENT/PLAINTIFF



MEMORANDUM OPINION

Movant Joshua O'Neal Vincent filed this pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (DN 88). The Court reviewed the § 2255 motion pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the United States District Courts. Upon review, the Court directed Movant to show cause why the § 2255 motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence should not be dismissed as barred by the applicable one-year statute of limitations (DN 90). Movant has responded to the Court's show cause Memorandum and Order (DNs 91 & 92). Upon review, for the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss this action as untimely.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On January 20, 2010, Movant was indicted on various gun and drug charges (DN 1). After pleading guilty to Counts 1 through 4 of the Indictment, a Judgment and Commitment was entered against Movant on December 22, 2010 (DN 57). No appeal was filed. Movant filed this present § 2255 motion on July 16, 2012. In his § 2255 motion, Movant states that he is "no angel" and is "guilty of the gun charges," but he contends that he is innocent of the drug charges. The two drug Counts to which Movant pleaded guilty are Possession of Pseudophedrine With Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine and Possession of Equipment, Chemicals, and Materials Used to Manufacture Methamphetamine.

According to Movant, the Barren County Sheriff, Chris Eaton, was the one who initially arrested him and was the one who led the criminal investigation of his case. Movant states that at the time of his arrest he requested Sheriff Eaton to test pills and a tank that were discovered at the scene. Movant asserts that Sheriff Eaton told him that a field test had been done on the pills and tank. Movant states that he was with Sheriff Eaton the entire time the Sheriff searched the property and Movant did not see the Sheriff perform any such test. According to Movant, if the pills and tank had been tested, the results would have shown that they did not contain chemical precursors of methamphetamine, thus proving that he was actually innocent of the two possession charges to which he pleaded guilty. Movant further states that Sheriff Eaton told Movant that he would arrest Movant's brother, wife, and other members of his family if he did not plead guilty. Because of the Sheriff's intimidation, Movant states that he lied and gave a statement that the Sheriff dictated to him.

Thereafter, according to Movant, he was indicted by a federal grand jury on the gun and drug charges. He requested his counsel to make sure the "feds" tested the pills and tank because if they did, it would be known that they did not contain precursors to the manufacture of methamphetamine. Movant contends that he told his attorney that he wanted to go to trial on the "meth case but plead guilty to the guns." Counsel, according to Movant, advised him that he could not plead guilty to some charges and go to trial on others and "that if he went to trial he would get a life sentence and never get out of prison." Movant contends that this coercion by his counsel, in part, convinced him to enter the guilty plea.

Movant contends that his attorney was ineffective. He further contends that he was coerced by his attorney and Sheriff Eaton into making a confession and pleading guilty. He contends that he is actually innocent of the drug charges to which he pleaded guilty. Movant bases his claim of actual innocence on his own statement that he is actually innocent of the drug charges and the fact that on "March 14, 2012 Sheriff Chris Eaton, along with four of the Barren County deputies were indicted by a federal grand jury . . . for the offenses of deprivation of rights and tampering with witness." Movant argues that the fact that Sheriff Eaton is under indictment for "acts that would constitute lying about the evidence" in a case is enough to justify an inquiry as to his claim of actual innocence in this case.

Further, Movant states that he failed to timely file the present § 2255 motion because he was in the Special Housing Unit [SHU] "at the time of the deadline" and in "March, 2012." He states that he had no way to file any motions or any access to a legal aid to help him file anything.

II. LEGAL ANALYSIS

Because the § 2255 motion was filed after April 24, 1996, the effective date of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 [AEDPA], the provisions of the AEDPA apply. Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320 (1997). The AEDPA sets forth a statute of limitations for federal prisoners seeking release from custody. The statute provides for a one-year limitations period, which shall run from the latest of:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;

(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;

(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or

(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through ...


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