United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Hollander United States District Judge.
Memorandum Opinion resolves a Motion To Vacate, Set Aside, Or
Correct Sentence, filed by Michael Awosika, the
self-represented Petitioner, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255. ECF 50. Awosika argues that he received ineffective
assistance of trial counsel. The government filed an
opposition (ECF 55), with exhibits. Thereafter, Awosika filed
a “Motion To Correct And Amend 2255” (ECF 59),
seeking to add a claim concerning the selection of the grand
jury. The government has filed a response in opposition. ECF
hearing is necessary to resolve the Petition. For the reasons
that follow, I shall deny the Petition.
13, 2017, a grand jury sitting in the District of Maryland
indicted Awosika on multiple charges, including one count of
carjacking on April 8, 2017, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
2119; one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of
a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c);
and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted
felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). ECF 1.
entered a plea of guilty to the carjacking offense on May 8,
2018, pursuant to a plea agreement. ECF 38; ECF 41. The plea
was entered under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C), by which the
parties agreed to a sentence of 15 years of incarceration.
ECF 38, ¶¶ 9, 10. That sentence corresponded to the
statutory maximum for the offense. ECF 38, ¶ 3. However,
it was well below the statutory maximum of life imprisonment,
to which defendant was exposed in connection with the firearm
offense charged under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). Moreover, if
Awosika was convicted of the carjacking, as well as the
firearm offense under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), he would have
faced a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years, consecutive
to any other sentence.
Statement of Facts included with the Plea Agreement (ECF 38
at 8) detailed the events of April 8, 2017, during the
carjacking of “A.C.”, who was taking her
5-month-old grandson out of the vehicle when the defendant
entered the front seat of the vehicle. Id. A
Baltimore City Fire Department Captain observed Awosika
driving down the road “in a dangerous manner.”
Id. The defendant fired two shots at the
Captain's vehicle. Id.
writing (ECF 38 at 9) and orally, defendant stipulated to the
facts set forth by the government. See ECF 51
(guilty plea Transcript); ECF 55-2 (same). Awosika, who was
under oath (ECF 55-2 at 2), agreed with the accuracy of the
government's factual summary. Id. at 34. And, he
expressly stated that he committed the crime as summarized by
the government, and was pleading guilty freely and
voluntarily, because he was guilty, as charged. Id.
the plea colloquy, the Court inquired of the defendant
whether he had been treated recently for any mental health
problems. ECF 55-2 at 4. Awosika advised that he was taking
an antidepressant medication. Id. at 5. The Court
expressly asked defendant if there was “anything about
this medication that somehow clouds your thinking?”
Id. at 6. The defendant responded: “No,
Ma'am.” Id. In response to an inquiry from
the Court, defense counsel advised that she was satisfied her
client was mentally able to proceed. Id. at 5.
Moreover, the defendant indicated his belief that he was able
to proceed. Id. And, the Court observed that the
defendant appeared “alert and oriented.”
Id. at 6.
guilty plea proceeding, the Court also asked the Petitioner
whether he had any “complaints whatsoever” about
his attorney's representation. ECF 55-2 at 7. Awosika
responded, “No.” Id. Moreover, he
answered in the affirmative that he was “fully
satisfied with the services” of his attorney.
Id. at 8.
was held on July 3, 2018. ECF 44. In accordance with the
terms of the C plea, the Court sentenced the defendant to a
total term of 180 months' imprisonment as to Count One.
noted, Petitioner contends that he received ineffective
assistance of counsel. In particular, he claims he told his
attorney that he was “insane, ” yet his attorney
told the judge that defendant understood the guilty plea
proceeding when, in fact, he did not. ECF 50 at 2. He has
also added a complaint about the selection of the grand jury.