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Armes v. United States

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

January 29, 2015

JACOB A. ARMES, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

OPINION

RICHARD MILLS, District Judge.

Pending is the Motion of Petitioner Jacob A. Armes Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence [d/e 1]. The Government has filed a Response to the Motion [d/e 7]. The Petitioner has filed a Reply [d/e 9] to the Government's Response.

Upon reviewing these filings, the Court concludes that no evidentiary hearing is warranted.

I. BACKGROUND

On March 3, 2009, a federal grand jury charged Petitioner Jacob A. Armes by indictment with receipt and possession of child pornography. See Case No. 09-cr-30023-RM-BGC. While the criminal case was pending, the Petitioner, through his counsel, filed four motions to continue the trial. The Government did not object and each motion was granted by the Court. In ruling on the first three motions, the Court found, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A), that "the ends of justice served by granting the continuance outweigh the best interests of the Defendant and the public in a speedy trial." In the fourth motion, the Petitioner requested a continuance so that he could plead guilty to the charges. A change of plea hearing was set at the same time originally scheduled for the final pretrial conference.

On January 4, 2010, the Petitioner entered open pleas of guilty to both counts in the Indictment. On June 21, 2010, United States District Judge Jeanne E. Scott sentenced the Petitioner to 151 months on Count 1 and 120 months on Count 2, to run concurrently. He was also sentenced to concurrent life terms of supervised release. Judgment was entered on June 25, 2010.

On June 29, 2010, the Petitioner filed a notice of appeal. After the Petitioner's appointed counsel filed an Anders brief requesting that the appeal be dismissed, the Petitioner declined to accept the Court of Appeals' invitation to respond to counsel's motion. United States v. Armes, 415 F.Appx. 729, 2011 WL 1188439 (7th Cir. 2011). The Court of Appeals confined its review to the potential issues of counsel's facially adequate brief, granted counsel's motion to withdraw and dismissed the appeal on March 31, 2011.

On June 27, 2012, the Petitioner filed this Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal standard

A petitioner asserting an ineffective assistance of counsel claim is entitled to relief only in "extraordinary situations, " such as when there is an "error of constitutional or jurisdictional magnitude or where a fundamental defect has occurred which results in a complete miscarriage of justice." Blake v. United States, 723 F.3d 870, 878-79 (7th Cir. 2013). The Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of counsel includes the right to the effective assistance of counsel. See id . at 879.

In order to prevail on an ineffective assistance claim, a petitioner must show that counsel's performance was objectively unreasonable and that such performance prejudiced the petitioner. See Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687-88 (1984). There is a "strong presumption that counsel's conduct falls within the wide range of reasonable professional assistance." Strickland, 466 U.S. at 689.

B. Alleged speedy trial violation

The Petitioner's sole ground for relief is that counsel was ineffective for failing to challenge an alleged violation of the Speedy Trial Act which, he asserts, ...


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