United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, Pikeville
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
GREGORY F. VAN TATENHOVE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the court on the Recommended Disposition
filed by United States Magistrate Judge Edward B. Atkins. [R.
398.] The Defendant, Dwaune Gravley, has filed a pro
se motion to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 [R. 364] and a supplemental § 2255 Motion to
Vacate, Set Aside, or Vacate his Sentence [R. 387].
Consistent with local practice, Judge Atkins reviewed the
motion and ultimately recommends that the Court deny both
§ 2255 motions in their entirety.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(2), a petitioner has
fourteen days after service to register any objections to the
Recommended Disposition or else waive his rights to appeal.
In order to receive de novo review by this Court,
any objection to the recommended disposition must be
specific. Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th
Cir. 1986). A specific objection “explain[s] and
cite[s] specific portions of the report which [counsel]
deem[s] problematic.” Robert v. Tesson, 507
F.3d 981, 994 (6th Cir. 2007). A general objection that fails
to identify specific factual or legal issues from the
recommendation, however, is not permitted, since it
duplicates the Magistrate's efforts and wastes judicial
economy. Howard v. Sec'y of Health & Human
Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991).
Gravley filed timely objections to the Recommended
Disposition. [R. 399.] The Court acknowledges its duty to
review Gravley's filings under a more lenient standard
than the one applied to attorneys because Gravley is
proceeding pro se. See Franklin v. Rose, 765 F.2d
82, 84-85 (6th Cir. 1985). Under this more lenient
construction, the objections are sufficiently definite to
trigger the Court's obligation to conduct a de
novo review. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c).
The Court has satisfied that duty, reviewing the entire
record, including the pleadings, the parties' arguments,
relevant case law and statutory authority, as well as
applicable procedural rules. For the following reasons,
Gravley's objections will be OVERRULED.
Atkins's Recommended Disposition accurately sets forth
the factual and procedural background of the case. The Court
mentions only key facts to frame its discussion and analysis
and incorporates Judge Atkins's discussion of the record
into this Order.
January 20, 2011, while an inmate at USP Big Sandy, Dwaune
Gravley was charged with one count of first degree murder in
violation is of 18 U.S.C. § 1111(a) and (b); one count
of conspiracy to commit murder in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1117; and four additional counts relating to the
murder of fellow inmate Shamoni Peterson. [R. 190.] He was
found guilty by a jury on all counts on April 1, 2011 [R.
297] and was sentenced to life in prison on September 8, 2011
appealed to the Sixth Circuit and the judgment of this Court
was upheld on October 15, 2014. [R. 379.] On April 1, 2013,
Gravley filed his first Motion to Vacate pursuant to §
2255 and filed a supplemental § 2255 on February 1,
2016. [R. 364; R. 387.] After briefing, Magistrate Judge
Atkins issued a Report and Recommendation on June 23, 2017,
recommending that all of Gravley's claims be dismissed.
[R. 398.] Gravley has objected to that Recommendation. [R.
Atkins outlined Gravley's ten claims as follows:
1) prosecution witness Paul Woods allegedly perjured himself
at Gravley's trial; (2) the prosecution committed
misconduct by failing to correct the perjured testimony of
Paul Woods; (3) appellate counsel Kevin Schad was ineffective
by failing to object to the perjury and the government's
failure to correct transcripts on appeal; (4) the prosecution
committed a Brady violation by not disclosing to Gravley
“exculpatory information, ” in reports indicating
that prosecution witness Darone Crawford suffered from mental
health issues; (5) counsel Stephen Milner was ineffective by
advising that he would take no further action in the case
until the District Court ruled on Gravley's motion to
proceed pro se; (6) counsel Milner made racially
disparaging remarks about Gravley to another client; (7)
counsel Milner was ineffective by providing only “token
representation;” (8) appellate counsel Scott Williamson
was ineffective by failing to inform Gravley he was no longer
working on his appeal after being found guilty of
unprofessional conduct in another matter; (9) appellate
counsel Kevin Schad was ineffective by failing to raise valid
issues on direct appeal, including alleged perjury,
prosecutorial misconduct, and suppression of evidence; and
(10) Gravley has discovered new evidence of prosecutorial
misconduct, in a 2007 Bureau of Prisons report stating that
there was a lack of evidence to charge him with murder at
[R. 398 at 6.]
Atkins thoughtfully considered each of these claims and this
Court is in agreement with his conclusions. We now turn to