United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
A. Ingram United States Magistrate Judge
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).
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
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probation was revoked and he was adjudicated guilty on both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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. ...