United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. Garbis United States District Judge
Court has before it Petitioner Weathers' Motion to Vacate
or Correct Sentence and the materials submitted relating
thereto. The Court finds that a hearing is unnecessary at
10, 2013, Petitioner was convicted on a plea of guilty to
Count 1 (conspiracy to commit bank fraud, 18 U.S.C. §
1349), Count 18 (bank fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1344), and
Count 19 (aggravated identity theft, 18 U.S.C. §
September 23, 2013, Petitioner was sentenced to 235 months
concurrent on each of Counts 1 and 18 and 24 months
consecutive on Count 19 for a total of 259 months. ECF No.
283. Petitioner appealed and, on August 18,  2014, the United
States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the
conviction and sentence. United States v. Weathers,
581 F.App'x 273 (4th Cir. 2014), as amended (Aug. 22,
instant Motion [ECF No. 422], timely filed, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2255, Petitioner seeks to have her conviction
and sentence vacated.
asserts that she was denied the effective assistance of
counsel. Mot. 1, ECF No. 422.
order to prevail on a claim that counsel's representation
violated her Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of
counsel, Petitioner must show (1) "that counsel's
representation fell below an objective standard of
reasonableness, " and (2) "that there is a reasonable
probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional
errors, the result of the proceeding would have been
different." Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S.
668, 687-88, 694 (1984). "A reasonable probability is a
probability sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome
[of the proceedings]." Id. at 694.
bases her ineffective assistance claim on counsel's
alleged failure to:
1. Adequately investigate and present matters pertaining to
her personal history in mitigation of the sentence.
2. Adequately advise her regarding a plea agreement offered
by the prosecution.
contentions will be addressed in turn.
organized and led a criminal conspiracy that regularly
engaged in a highly effective theft scheme for more than five
and half years using a modus operandi dating back to at least
1994. Essentially, the conspirators would
victimize women utilizing toilet facilities in ladies'
restrooms in stores. A conspirator would occupy the stall
next to a victim who had hung her purse on the door. The
conspirator would attract the victim's attention,
typically by asking the victim if she would provide her with
toilet paper to use. While the victim was distracted, another
conspirator (often, if not always, Petitioner herself) would
reach over the door and obtain the victim's credit cards.