Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Harris v. Brazoria County Texas 149Th District Court

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

October 25, 2018

SHANNON KEITH HARRIS, Petitioner,
v.
BRAZORIA COUNTY TEXAS 149th DISTRICT COURT, Respondent.

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          Hanly A. Ingram United States Magistrate Judge

         On June 22, 2018, per the mailbox rule, Petitioner Shannon Harris filed a pro se petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in state custody. D.E. 1. The matter was assigned to the undersigned in accordance with Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases for the purposes of conducting a preliminary review. See Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, Rule 4. Having reviewed the petition in detail, it plainly appears that the Court is without jurisdiction to consider Harris's motion because he is not in custody pursuant to a state judgment as required by § 2254(a).

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On April 15, 1994, in Texas state court, Harris pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to second-degree possession of a controlled substance. United States v. Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, D.E. 212 at 2, 3 (S.D. Tex. 2003). The offense conduct occurred on August 14, 1993. Id. at 2. District Judge Robert E. May in the 23rd Judicial District Court of Brazoria County, Texas, deferred an adjudication of guilt and ordered Harris to be placed on probation for eight years. Id. at 3-5. On the same date, Harris pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to first-degree delivery of a controlled substance. Id. at 6, 10. The offense conduct occurred on March 10, 1993. Id. at 6. Similarly, Judge May deferred an adjudication of guilt and ordered Harris to be placed on probation for five years. Id. at 10-12. On April 4, 1997, Harris's probation was revoked and he was adjudicated guilty on both charges. Id. at 2, 6, 7. He was sentenced to six years on the possession charge and six years on the delivery charge. Id. at 2, 6.

         On October 18, 2006, the federal grand jury sitting in the Southern District of Texas returned a second superseding indictment that charged Harris with: (1) being a felon in possession of firearms, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2); (2) possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A); (3) conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute fifty grams or more of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)(iii), and 21 U.S.C. § 846; (4) possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)(iii); and (5) a forfeiture allegation. Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 150. The United States filed a notice of information and intent to prove prior convictions on January 18, 2007, which indicated that it would seek an enhanced sentence pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851 based on Harris's 1997 state convictions of felony possession of a controlled substance and felony delivery of a controlled substance. Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 161.

         A jury subsequently convicted Harris of all four counts, and he received 120 months of imprisonment on count one, lifetime imprisonment on counts three and four, and sixty months of imprisonment on count two. Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 217 at 1, 3. The lifetime term and the 120 months were run concurrently, while the sixty months of imprisonment was run consecutively to the lifetime term. Id. at 3. Harris was also sentenced to a total of ten years of supervised release. Id. at 4. Harris's sentence was enhanced by the two underlying state convictions, as described in the notice of information filed by the government. See Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 161, D.E. 212.

         Harris appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and argued that his convictions should be overturned because: (1) his rights under the Speedy Trial Act were violated; (2) evidence introduced against him should have been suppressed; (3) the jury verdict was based on insufficient evidence; and (5) his life sentence violated the Eighth Amendment. United States v. Harris, 566 F.3d 422, 426 (5th Cir. 2009). The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment on April 21, 2009. Id.

         Harris filed a motion for reconsideration with the district court, Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 238, which was denied, Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 239. He then filed a motion for a reduction in sentence, which was also denied. Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 244. Harris appealed this denial, but the Fifth Circuit dismissed the appeal. Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 258. Additionally, he filed a motion for reconsideration on his motion to reduce his sentence, Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 247, which was denied, Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 249.

         Harris then filed a motion to vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on March 1, 2011, in the District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 259. He filed a second motion to vacate under § 2255 on June 10, 2011. Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 274. The district court construed the motions liberally and jointly considered the arguments made in each. Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 283.

         In both motions, Harris argued that: (1) his right to a fair and speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment was violated; (2) his rights under the Fourth Amendment were violated by an illegal search and seizure and an invalid search warrant; (3) his counsel was ineffective; and (4) the Fair Sentencing Act applied to reduce his sentence. Id. at 4. Specifically, Harris argued that his counsel failed to object to his classification as a career offender based on his prior convictions for attempted robbery and delivery of a controlled substance. See Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 259 at 8.[1]

         Harris alleged “that his state convictions for delivery of a controlled substance and attempted robbery are invalid because there is no transcript to prove that his guilty pleas were voluntary.” Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 283 at 14-15. However, the district court noted that Harris's allegations were contradicted by the record: “The documents contain the state court's detailed factual findings regarding the adjudications of Harris's guilt for both offenses, and show that Harris's guilty pleas were voluntary in each case.” Id. at 15. Thus, the court rejected Harris's argument that his counsel was ineffective “because the record supports that these convictions were in fact valid.” Id. The court ultimately denied Harris's § 2255 motions to vacate. Id. at 20. Subsequently, the court also denied Harris's motions for relief from the final judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 60(b) and for sentence reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582. Harris, 3:03-cr-00014-1, at D.E. 287, D.E. 307.

         Harris is currently confined at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky. He has filed three motions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in the Eastern District of Kentucky, which were all denied. See Harris v. Quintana, No. 5:16-cv-441-DCR (E.D. Ky. 2017); Harris v. Holland, 6:13-cv-223-DCR (E.D. Ky. 2014); Harris v. Holland, 6:13-cv-73-DLB (E.D. Ky. 2013). Harris appealed the denials, but each appeal was dismissed.

         Harris then filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Rule 11.07 in the 23rd Judicial District of Brazoria County, Texas. D.E. 1-1 at 14. In that application, Harris alleged that he was not provided a plea hearing and did not engage in a plea colloquy before being sentenced to both of his underlying state convictions for possession of a controlled substance and delivery of a controlled substance. Id. at 15.

         Notably, Harris was unable to obtain records from the Brazoria County District Clerk of Court because they were destroyed after fifteen years. Id. at 5. The 23rd Judicial District recommended denying relief. Id. at 4. The court explained that Harris's claims were barred procedurally by his previously-filed motion for post-conviction relief that was denied by the state court on December 6, 2017, and that they were barred under the principle of laches. Id. at 4, 10. The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas dismissed his application on May 23, 2018. Id. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.