United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
December 29, 2015
Tiffany Renee Edmundson, Defendant: Michael D Montemarano,
LEAD ATTORNEY, Michael D Montemarano PA, Columbia, MD.
Federal Public Defender, Amicus: Paresh S Patel, LEAD
ATTORNEY, Federal Public Defender for the District of
Maryland, Greenbelt, MD.
USA, Plaintiff: Thomas M Sullivan, William Davis Moomau, LEAD
ATTORNEYS, Office of the United States Attorney, Greenbelt,
MD; Gerald Akida Asim Collins, Rod J Rosenstein, Office of
the United States Attorney, Baltimore, MD; Matthew Linden
Paeffgen, U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of
Maryland, Southern Division, Greenbelt, MD.
Grimm, United States District Judge.
Memorandum Opinion supplements my ruling on the bench at a
December 17, 2015, hearing. Defendant Tiffany Renee Edmundson
had moved to dismiss Count 2, using and carrying a firearm
during and in relation to a crime of violence, and vacate her
guilty plea. Subsequently, Edmundson withdrew her motion to
withdraw the guilty plea but persisted in her motion to
dismiss the firearm count. I ruled that Edmundson's plea
to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery did not meet the
requirements in 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3)(A) and that 18
U.S.C. § 924(c)(3)(B) is void for vagueness.
February 11, 2013, Defendant Tiffany Renee Edmundson pleaded
guilty to one count of conspiracy to interfere with
interstate commerce by robbery (" Hobbs Act
Conspiracy" ), 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a), and one count
of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a
crime of violence (" Firearm Offense" ), 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(c)(3). See Plea Agr., ECF No. 21. Her
sentencing was delayed for reasons unrelated to the issues
raised in the pending dispute. On August 17, 2015, Edmundson
filed a Motion to Dismiss Count Two and to Vacate Guilty Plea
on Said Count. Def.'s Mot., ECF No. 38. The Government
filed an opposition. Opp'n, ECF No. 46. The Office of the
Public Defender requested, ECF No. 49, and was granted, ECF
No. 52, permission to file an amicus brief, Amicus Br., ECF
No. 53, and supplement, Amicus Suppl., ECF No. 54.
gist of Edmundson's motion is that the Supreme
Court's recent decision in Johnson v. United
States, __ U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2551, 192 L.Ed.2d 569
(2015), requires me to permit her to withdraw her plea of
guilty to Count 2 and to order that the Firearm Offense be
dismissed. Edmundson argued she was entitled to this relief
because the predicate offense to which she pleaded guilty,
Hobbs Act Conspiracy, did not have as an element the use,
attempted use, or threatened use of physical force required
by 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3)(A) (the " § 924(c)
force clause" ), and that based on Johnson, the
residual clause of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3)(B) (the "
§ 924(c) residual clause" ) was unconstitutionally
vague in violation of the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause.
hearing was held on December 17, 2015. At the beginning of
the hearing, Edmundson withdrew her motion to withdraw her
guilty plea to the Firearm Offense but persisted in her
motion to dismiss that count for the reasons asserted in her
motion. I ruled that Edmundson's plea to Hobbs Act
Conspiracy did not meet the § 924(c) force clause and
that the § 924(c) residual clause is void for vagueness
under Johnson. I then ordered the parties to brief
the issue of whether my determinations that neither the
§ 924(c) force clause nor the § 924(c) residual
clause applied required me to dismiss Count 2 prior to
sentencing. This Memorandum Opinion supplements my ruling
from the bench.
U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) provides that a person
convicted of using and carrying a firearm during and in
relation to a " crime of violence" must be
sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of seven years,
to run consecutively to any other sentence imposed. A crime
of violence is defined under the § 924(c) force clause
as any felony that " has as an element the use,
attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against
the person or property of another," § 924(c)(3)(A),
or alternatively under the § 924(c) residual clause as
any felony " that by its nature, involves a substantial
risk that physical force against the person or property of
another may be used in the course of committing the
offense," § 924(c)(3)(B).
The § ...