United States District Court, D. Maryland
COURTNEY B. WALKER, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
L. Hollander United States District Judge
Memorandum Opinion resolves a Motion To Vacate, Set Aside, Or
Correct Sentence (the “Petition”), filed under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 by Courtney Walker, the self-represented
Petitioner. ECF 389. The Petition is supported by exhibits.
See ECF 389-2. In sum, Petitioner alleges
ineffective assistance of counsel, claiming his attorney
failed to object to the decision of the trial judge not to
award credit for time that Petitioner spent in State custody
on a matter related to the underlying federal offenses.
government opposes the Petition. ECF 14. It has also provided
the Court with several exhibits. Mr. Walker has not replied,
and the time to do so has expired.
28 U.S.C. § 2255(b), a hearing is required
“[u]nless the motion and the files and records of the
case conclusive show the prisoner is entitled to no relief .
. . .” This is such a case. No. hearing is necessary.
For the reasons that follow, I shall deny the Petition.
Procedural and Factual Background
was indicted on October 27, 2015, along with twelve
codefendants. ECF 1. He was charged with conspiracy to commit
bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349 (Count
One); bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344
(Count Ten); and aggravated identity theft, in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 1028A (Count Eleven). Id.
December 1, 2016, Petitioner entered a plea of guilty before
Judge Marvin J. Garbis, to whom the case was then assigned,
as to Counts One and Eleven. ECF 188. The plea was entered
pursuant to a Plea Agreement. ECF 189.
government has submitted a copy of the transcript for the
guilty plea proceeding. See ECF 417-1. At that
proceeding, the prosecutor advised the court that the
government was restricting its loss calculation to losses
that occurred within the State of Maryland. Id. at
counsel informed the court that the defendant had been
“continuously incarcerated for more than three
years” as of that time. Id. at 19. Therefore,
he told the court that he would be asking the court “to
vary from the sentence at the time of sentencing because [the
defendant] effectively doesn't get credit for those three
years because he's serving another sentence, even though
it's substantially related conduct to this case because
it's doing the same thing with the same people, albeit in
South Carolina state.” Defense counsel submitted a
sentencing memorandum, which addressed several issues. ECF
325. Among them, defense counsel reiterated that the
defendant was incarcerated in South Carolina “for
exactly the same type of conduct that makes up the charges at
bar, albeit in a different state.” Id. at 2.
was held on August 3, 2017. ECF 336. A copy of the Sentencing
Transcript is docketed at ECF 417-2.
sentencing, defense counsel again pursued the matter of the
time that defendant had spent serving a South Carolina
sentence on related conduct. Defense counsel told Judge
Garbis that the defendant had already “been locked up
four years [as of] next month in South Carolina for
essentially doing the same thing . . . .” ECF 417-2 at
17. Further, defense counsel expressly made the point that
the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) “won't
give credit for that South Carolina time, because it's
time credited against another sentence.” Id.
prosecutor also addressed the matter stating, in part,
id. at 19: “[S]tarting the day that his South
Carolina sentence ended officially according to South
Carolina authorities, he will get credit that will be applied
to this sentence starting on that date.” Judge Garbis
noted that the defendant's “federal sentence starts
when the South Carolina sentence ended.” Id.
The court agreed that, in effect, the defendant would receive
a consecutive sentence. Id. at 19-20. Defense
counsel reiterated that such a result “seems
harsh”, and he urged the court to impose a variant
sentence. Id. at 20.
court made clear, however, that the matter of credit must be
resolved by the BOP. He indicated that the defendant would
have the right to contest the BOP's decision in the court
located “wherever he's incarcerated.”
Id. at 21.
Garbis imposed a total sentence of five years. ECF 417-2 at
32; ECF 339. Thereafter, defense counsel asked, ECF 417-2 at
33: “So the record is clear, is the sentence of this
Court concurrent with the South Carolina sentence?” The
court responded, id.: “No. It's
consecutive to the South Carolina sentence.”
weeks after sentencing, Mr. Walker wrote a letter to Judge
Garbis, claiming that the government had promised, and the
court said, he should get credit for time served in the South
Carolina case. ECF 417-3 at 3-4. ...