United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Northwestern Division
OWEN BOWDRE, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
2015, Timothy Bryan Standfield pled guilty to one count of
bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) and
(d), and this court entered judgment against him. (Cr. Doc.
23). The court sentenced him to 130 months of imprisonment.
(Id.). Mr. Standfield filed a notice of appeal on
August 7, 2015, but then voluntarily dismissed his appeal on
November 9, 2015. (Cr. Docs. 26, 36).
Standfield's moves under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate,
set aside, or correct the sentence by a person in federal
custody. (Doc. 1). In support of his motion, Mr. Standfield
claims that ineffective assistance of counsel on four
different grounds caused his sentence to be improperly
enhanced. The grounds include his counsel's failures to
object to (1) the carjacking enhancement, (2) the obstruction
of justice enhancement, (3) the improper release date and
amount of time served on the PSR, and (4) the improper end of
sentence date in his criminal history.
August 2, 2016, the court ordered the Government to show
cause why the court should not grant the relief requested by
Mr. Standfield. (Doc. 2). On August 23, 2016, the Government
filed “Response to Petitioner's § 2255
Motion.” (Doc. 3). On August 25, 2016, the court
notified Mr. Standfield that it deemed the case ripe for
summary disposition in accordance with McBride v.
Sharpe, 25 F.3d 962 (11th Cir. 1994), and ordered Mr.
Standfield to submit any additional evidentiary materials or
legal arguments he wished to offer on or before September 15,
2016. (Doc. 4). Mr. Standfield filed “Petitioner's
Response to Respondent's Motion to Dismiss
Petitioner's § 2255 Motion” on September 28,
2016. (Doc. 5). The motion is now ripe for review.
indictment charged Mr. Standfield with one count of Bank
Robbery under 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) and (d). On March 24,
2015, he entered into a plea agreement with the government
and pled guilty. The plea agreement contained a Waiver of
Right to Appeal and Post-Conviction Relief. (Cr. Doc. 2). But
Mr. Standfield reserved the right to contest ineffective
assistance of counsel.
presentence investigation report (PSR), the probation officer
calculated an offense level of 28, criminal history category
V, and a Guideline imprisonment range from 130-162 months.
(Cr. Doc. 21).
Standfield's counsel objected to the report on five
grounds. (Cr. Doc. 15). First, counsel objected to Paragraphs
15 and 16 of the PSR, which explained an enhancement for
obstruction of justice by the creation of a substantial risk
of death or serious bodily injury to another person in the
course of fleeing from a law enforcement officer under U.S.
Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 3C1.2. According to the
PSR, a sheriff's deputy observed a blue Ford F- 150
traveling at a high rate of speed north on County Road 47.
The deputy attempted to pursue the vehicle, but the vehicle
veered off the road, drove through a field, and then
reentered the highway at a speed exceeding 120 miles per
hour. Counsel argued that no evidence shows that the vehicle
described was the same vehicle owned or used by Mr.
Standfield or that he operated the vehicle at that time,
noting that “there has been no evidence that the blue
Ford F-150 seen traveling through the field and in speeds
greater than 120 miles per hour is that of Mr.
Standfield.” (Cr. Doc. 15 at 2).
counsel objected to Paragraph 22, Specific Offense
Characteristics. Paragraph 22 increased the offense level by
two because of Mr. Standfield's attempted carjacking
pursuant to § 2B3.1(b)(7)(B) of the U.S. Sentencing
counsel objected to Paragraph 26, Adjustment for Obstruction
of Justice. Paragraph 26 increased the offense level by two
because of Mr. Standfield's creation of a substantial
risk of death or seriously bodily injury to another person in
the course of fleeing from a law enforcement officer pursuant
to § 3C1.2 of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual.
counsel contended that Paragraph 31, which asserted that the
total offense level was 28, should be reduced to an offense
level of 24.
counsel contended that Paragraph 83-which asserted that,
based upon a total offense level of 28 and a criminal history
category of V, the guideline imprisonment range is 130 months
to 162 months-“should be revised to a total offense
level of 24, and a criminal history category of V, [and] the
guideline imprisonment range [to] 91 months to 115
months.” (Cr. Doc. 15 at 2).
Standfield's counsel later withdrew the objection to the
carjacking enhancement in Paragraph 22 upon reviewing a video
of Mr. Standfield's attempted carjacking. (Doc. 3 at 2;
Cr. Doc. 18 at 7). But his counsel maintained the objection
to the obstruction of justice enhancement for creating a
substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury while
fleeing law enforcement.
6, 2015, at Mr. Standfield's sentencing, the court heard
oral argument on the obstruction of justice enhancement. The
court overruled the objection and sentenced Mr. Standfield to
130 months, which was on the low end of the Guidelines
suggestion. Mr. Standfield argued for a downward variance,
which the court refused to consider because “Mr.
Standfield has received a huge break in not being charged
with all six of the bank robberies, only being charged with
one. Had he been charged with all six, his guidelines range
would have been approximately 210 to 262 months in
prison.” (Doc. 35 at 36).
Standfield, through his counsel, appealed his sentence to the
Eleventh Circuit on July 27, 2015, but he voluntarily
dismissed his appeal on November 9, 2015. Just over eight
months later, he filed this § 2255 motion on July 25,
2016. He contends that he received ineffective assistance of
counsel because his attorney failed to object to (1) the
carjacking enhancement, (2) the obstruction of justice
enhancement, (3) the improper release date and amount of time
served on the PSR, and (4) the improper end of sentence date
in his criminal history.