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Hyatt v. United States

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

January 9, 2017

GEORGES MARIUS HYATT, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         THIS MATTER is before the Court under rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings on the Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody filed by Movant Georges Marius Hyatt on June 30, 2016 (CV 16-00758 LH/WPL, Doc. 1; CR 13-00871 LH, Doc. 39). Hyatt seeks to vacate and correct his sentence under Johnson v. United States, 578 U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). The Court determines that Hyatt is not eligible for relief under Johnson and will dismiss the Motion.

         FACTUAL AND LEGAL BACKGROUND

         Hyatt was charged with two counts of Bank Robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a). (CR 13-00871 LH, Doc. 20). The Information stated:

“On or about July 16, 2012, in Bernalillo County in the District of New Mexico, the defendant, Georges Marius Hyatt, by force, violence, and intimidation, did take form the person and presence of another a sum of U.S. currency belonging to and in the care, custody, control, management and possession of the New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union, located at 6501 Indian School Road, NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, the deposits of which were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.”
“On or about July 17, 2012, in Bernalillo County, in the District of New Mexico, the defendant, Georges Marius Hyatt, by force, violence and intimidation, did take form the person and presence of another a sum of U.S. currency belong to and in the care, custody, control, management and possession of the Bank of the West, located at 5401 Gibson Blvd. SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, the deposits of which were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.”

         (CR 13-00871 LH, Doc. 20). Hyatt was also charged with Possessing and Brandishing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) and Felon in Possession of a Firearm under 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). Hyatt had two prior felony convictions for Bank Robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a). See: CR 13-00871 LH, Doc. 20 at 2; CR 05-02769 JC; and CR 00-01446 BB.

         On March 21, 2013, Hyatt entered into a Plea Agreement in which he pled guilty to the two counts of Bank Robbery, the Possession and Brandishing of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. (CR 13-00871 LH, Doc. 23). Hyatt was then sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 186 months. (CR 13-00871 LH, Doc. 33). Hyatt filed a pro se Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on June 30, 2016. (CV 16-00758 LH/WPL, Doc. 1; CR 13-00871 LH, Doc. 39).[1] Hyatt's pro se Motion contends that the Bank Robbery offenses did not qualify as “crimes of violence” and should not have been used to enhance his sentence under § 924(c) in light of Johnson. (CV16-00758 LH/WPL, Doc. 1 at 5; CR 13-00871 LH, Doc. 39 at 5)

         APPLICABLE LAW ON JOHNSON V. UNITED STATES AND SECTION 2255 COLLATERAL REVIEW

         Hyatt seeks collateral review of his sentences in CV16-00758 and CR 13-00871 under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Section 2255 provides:

“A prisoner in custody under a sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground That the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or Laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction To impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the Maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral Attack, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, Set aside or correct the sentence.”

28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Because Hyatt seeks collateral review more than a year after his sentences became final, he relies on a right newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review in Johnson. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(3).

         In Johnson, the Supreme Court held that the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) is impermissibly vague and imposing an increased sentence under the residual clause of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B) violates the Constitution's guarantee of due process. 135 S.Ct. at 2562-2563. Under the ACCA, a defendant convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm faces more severe punishment if he has three or more previous convictions for a “violent felony.” 18 U.S.C. § 924 (e)(2)(B). The Act defines “violent felony” to mean:

“any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year . . . that-
(i) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the ...

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