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Lloyd v. United States

United States District Court, D. Maryland

July 11, 2019

BERNARDO AUGUSTINE LLOYD, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner Bernardo Augustine Lloyd (“Mr. Lloyd”) has filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence (“motion to vacate”) and a motion for judgment by default. ECF Nos. 122, 128. For the reasons discussed below, both of Mr. Lloyd's motions will be denied.[1]

         I. Background Facts

         On June 25, 2012, a grand jury indicted Mr. Lloyd for one count of involuntary manslaughter, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1112(a), and one count of reckless driving, in violation of Md. Code Ann., Transp. § 21-901.1(a) as incorporated into federal law by 36 C.F.R. § 4.2. ECF No. 1.

         On September 18, 2014, prior to trial, Mr. Lloyd, through counsel, moved to dismiss the charges, arguing that the 15-month delay between his indictment and arrest violated his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. ECF No. 43 at 2. After a motions hearing, the court denied Mr. Lloyd's motion to dismiss on November 26, 2014. ECF Nos. 113, 62 at 2.

         On December 19, 2014, a jury found Mr. Lloyd guilty of involuntary manslaughter. ECF No. 87. The court had directed the jury to consider the reckless driving charge only if it found Mr. Lloyd not guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Id. Accordingly, the jury returned no verdict on the reckless driving charge. Id.

         The Presentence Report (“PSR”) recommended a sentence of 63 months, based on a criminal history category of III and a final offense level of 22, which equated to a guideline range of 51 to 63 months of imprisonment. ECF No. 97 at 20. The court agreed with the sentencing guidelines calculated in the PSR and sentenced Mr. Lloyd to 63 months of imprisonment on May 6, 2015. ECF No. 105.

         Mr. Lloyd appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which affirmed his conviction on April 20, 2016. ECF No. 119. He then filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, which the U.S. Supreme Court denied on October 4, 2016. ECF No. 121.

         Mr. Lloyd filed his motion to vacate on July 31, 2017. ECF No. 122. The Government filed its response on October 6, 2017, but did not certify that service was made on Mr. Lloyd. ECF No. 124. On December 12, 2017, the Clerk of the Court issued a QC Notice, requesting that the Government provide a certificate of service. ECF No. 125. On December 18, 2017, the Government filed a certificate of service stating that it mailed its response to Mr. Lloyd on that date. ECF No. 127.

         II. Analysis

         Mr. Lloyd argues that his sentence should be vacated because (1) the court miscalculated his offense level, ECF Nos. 122 at 4; 122-1 at 6-7; (2) his trial[2] counsel was ineffective at trial and at sentencing, ECF Nos. 122 at 5, 8; 122-1 at 5-8, 12-15; and (3) there was insufficient evidence to sustain his conviction, ECF Nos. 122 at 7; 122-1 at 8-12. None of these claims have merit.

         To prevail on a § 2255 motion, a petitioner must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that “[his] sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack . . . .” 28 U.S.C. § 2255; Miller v. United States, 261 F.2d 546, 547 (4th Cir. 1958). If the § 2255 motion, along with the files and records of the case, “conclusively show that [the petitioner] is entitled to no relief, ” a hearing on the motion is unnecessary and the claims raised in the motion may be dismissed summarily. 28 U.S.C. § 2255; Miller, 261 F.2d at 547. Pro se petitions are liberally construed. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam).

         a. Mr. Lloyd's Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claims Fail.

         Mr. Lloyd asserts that his trial counsel was ineffective for (1) failing to object to the court's determination of his offense level at sentencing, ECF Nos. 122 at 5; 122-1 at 5-8; (2) failing to exclude an expert witness from testifying, ECF No. 122-1 at 14; and (3) presenting the “wrong speedy ...


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