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Jenkins v. Walton

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 11, 2014

JERRY W. JENKINS, No. 20570-045, Petitioner,
v.
S.J. WALTON, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

DAVID R. HERNDON, Chief District Judge.

Petitioner Jerry W. Jenkins, is currently incarcerated in the United States Penitentiary at Marion, Illinois. His petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is now before the Court for review under Rules 1(b) and 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in United States District Courts.

Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in United States District Courts provides that upon preliminary consideration by the district court judge, "[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner." Rule 1(b) of those Rules gives this Court the authority to apply the rules to other habeas corpus cases.

I. Background

Petitioner Jenkins is attacking his conviction and sentence in United States v. Jenkins, No. 07-cr-00385-DW (W.D. Mo. Dec. 2, 2008). Following a jury trial in 2008, Jenkins was convicted of being a felon in possession of ammunition (Count 1) and a firearm (Count 2), in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2). He was sentenced to concurrent 327-month terms of imprisonment as an Armed Career Criminal ("ACC") under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e).

Jenkins appealed, arguing that the trial court erred by (1) admitting under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b), Michelle Gordon's testimony that Jenkins possessed a firearm before the date of the charged offenses; (2) admitting evidence of several previous felony convictions; and (3) imposing concurrent 327-month sentences. The conviction and sentence were affirmed. See United States v. Jenkins, 355 Fed.Appx. 983 (8th Cir. 2009).

Next, Jenkins moved to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The various grounds presented included: (1) error in allowing Michelle Gordon to testify as to certain matters; (2) error in admitting into evidence the name and nature of Jenkins' prior felony convictions; (3) ineffective assistance of counsel; and (4) error in not allowing Jenkins to introduce collateral evidence to impeach the testimony of Michelle Gordon. The district court swept aside those issues that had previously been presented on direct appeal, and noted that mere errors in evidentiary rulings are not cognizable under Section 2255. The Section 2255 motion was dismissed. See Jenkins v. United States, Case No. 11-cv-215-DW, Doc. 10 (W.D. Mo. Oct. 21, 2011). The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit denied Jenkins a certificate of appealability. See Jenkins v. United States, Case No. 11-3846 (8th Cir. April 30, 2012).

In March 2013, Jenkins returned to the district court, filing a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). Jenkins alleged that the government had committed a fraud upon the court during the criminal trial. The Rule 60(b) motion was denied on June 25, 2013. See Jenkins v. United States, Case No. 11-cv-215-DW, Doc. 21 (W.D. Mo. June 25, 2013).

II. The Petition

Petitioner Jenkins presents 18 grounds for upsetting his conviction and sentence, plus subparts:

1. The trial transcript omits voir dire, the jury charge, sidebars and other discussions;
2. The statutes referenced in the indictment do not reference ammunition, firearms or interstate commerce;
3. A video of Jenkins being transported to jail was admitted at trial as a confession, despite there being no indication in the recording that ...

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