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United States v. Bowman

United States District Court, District of Columbia

October 16, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM MARTIN BOWMAN, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently before the Court is Pro Se Defendant William Bowman's [1011] Motion for Leave to File Notice of Appeal and/or Motion for Reconsideration; the United States' [1028] Opposition to the Defendant's Motion; and the Defendant's [1037] Pro Se Reply to the Opposition. Defendant William Bowman (“Defendant” or “Mr. Bowman”) requests that this Court reconsider its December 3, 2018 Order denying his Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, wherein Defendant requested that this Court vacate or reduce his sentence based upon his claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and his challenges to the constitutionality of his sentence regarding the firearms charge and the drug conspiracy charge.[1]Upon a searching review of the parties' submissions, the relevant authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court finds that Mr. Bowman is not entitled to the requested relief. Accordingly, the Court shall DENY Mr. Bowman's [1011] Motion for Leave to File Notice of Appeal and/or Motion for Reconsideration.

         I. BACKGROUND[2]

         A. Arrest and Conviction

         In a superseding indictment filed on September 17, 2012, Mr. Bowman was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, three counts of using, carrying and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense, three counts of distribution of cocaine, and two counts of unlawful distribution of cocaine base occurring on July 1 and 7, 2000. Redacted Superseding Indictment, ECF No. 440. Upon motion by the Government, the two counts of unlawful distribution of cocaine base occurring on July 1 and 7, 2000 were dismissed by the Court on October 11, 2012. Two of the counts of using, carrying and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense were consolidated into one count before the case went to the jury.

         On November 20, 2012, following a month long jury trial, the jury found Mr. Bowman guilty on the following charges: 1) conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine (21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841 (a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(ii)) (Count One), three counts of distribution of cocaine (21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841 (b)(1)(C)) (Counts Three-Five), and one count of using, carrying, and possessing a firearm (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)) (Count Two). Verdict Form, ECF No. 653.[3] During most of his pretrial and trial proceedings, Mr. Bowman was represented by a court-appointed attorney, Mr. Dwight Crawley. CJA 20 Appointment, ECF No. 24.

         B. Sentencing and Appeal

         The court held a sentencing hearing on April 9, 2013, and Mr. Bowman was sentenced to two hundred forty (240) months of imprisonment on Counts 1, 3, 4 and 5, to run concurrently, and a term of three hundred (300) months of imprisonment on Count 2, to run consecutively to Counts 1, 3, 4 and 5, together with a supervised release period of one hundred and twenty (120) months on Count 1, sixty (60) months on Count 2, and seventy-two (72) months on Counts 3, 4, and 5, with supervised release running concurrently. Judgment in a Criminal Case, ECF No. 761. Mr. Bowman and co-defendant Mr. Williams directly appealed the judgment, but the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected Mr. Bowman's claims and affirmed his conviction on July 8, 2016. United States v. Henry Brandon Williams, 827 F.3d 1134 (D.C. Cir. 2016), cert den., 137 S.Ct. 706 (2017)

         C. Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255

         Mr. Bowman filed a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 2255, which was premised on allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel related to his trial counsel, Dwight Crawley, and his appellate counsel, Julian S. Greenspun. More specifically, Mr. Bowman claimed that his trial counsel failed to “address[ ] the fact that [he] was willing to accept a plea without inducing any other co-defendants to plea[d]” and to inform the Government that Mr. Bowman “still wanted to accept a plea” before trial and further, that counsel did not properly advise him of the consecutive nature of sentencing on the firearms counts. Def.'s Mot. To Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence, ECF No. 961, at 4-5. Mr. Bowman asserted generally that his appellate counsel failed to raise these same issues on appeal. Additionally, Mr. Bowman claimed that his trial counsel visited him rarely and he challenged the alleged unconstitutionality of the punishment imposed for his firearms and drug conspiracy convictions. On December 3, 2018, this Court issued its [1004] Memorandum Opinion finding that Mr. Bowman had “not proven that his [trial ]counsel behaved in a professionally unreasonable manner which unjustly prejudiced him, and neither prong of the standard in [the] Strickland [case] had been met.” December 3, 2018 Mem. Op., ECF No.1004, at 12. Furthermore, Mr. Bowman had “not established deficient performance or prejudice with respect to his appellate counsel” and his “claims that his sentences on the firearms and drug conspiracy charges [were] unconstitutional [were] procedurally barred because these claims were not raised on direct appeal nor [did] he show cause or prejudice.” Id. at 15. Accordingly, the Court denied Mr. Bowman's [961] Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. December 3, 2018 Order, ECF No. 1003.

         D. Motion to File Notice of Appeal and/or for Reconsideration

         In his [1011] Motion to File Notice of Appeal and/or for Reconsideration (“Def's Mot.”), Defendant argues generally that the Court's decision is “contrary to establish[ed] law concerning 6th Amendment Rights, ” because he satisfied “both parts of the two-pronged test set forth in Strickland v. Washington.” Def.'s Mot., ECF No. 1011, at 1-2. Defendant provides no information relevant to his claim that counsel was ineffective other than the same statements that were previously proffered to this Court. Defendant does assert however that the First Step Act of 2018 “gives discretion to the district court to reevaluate petitioner's judgment and conviction, ” with respect to his conviction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). Id. at 2. The United States filed its [1028] Opposition to the Defendant's Motion, and Defendant filed his [1037] Reply, wherein he raised for the first time a claim relating to the holding in United States v. Davis, 139 S.Ct. 2319 (2019) (finding unconstitutionally vague the residual clause of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3)(B)).

         Defendant's Motion is ripe for resolution by this Court.

         II. ...


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