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Groves v. United States

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

June 19, 2014

DEVON GROVES, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent-Appellee

Argued May 23, 2014

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. No. 3:11-cv-00089-RLM -- Robert L. Miller, Jr., Judge.

For DEVON GROVES, Petitioner - Appellant: Roxanne Mendez Johnson, Attorney, LAW OFFICE OF ROXANNE MENDEZ JOHNSON, Valparaiso, IN.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent - Appellee: Jesse M. Barrett, Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, South Bend, IN.

Before BAUER and EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judges, and ST. EVE, District Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 589

St. Eve, District Judge

A jury convicted Petitioner Devon Groves for possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of ammunition by a felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), and the district court sentenced him to the statutory maximum of 240 months in prison--120 months on each count--to run consecutively. This court affirmed the judgment. See United States v. Groves, 559 F.3d 637 (7th Cir. 2009). On March 2, 2011, Groves filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The district court denied Groves's § 2255 motion, and we affirm.

I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In his § 2255 motion, Groves made the following arguments relevant to this appeal: (1) his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for failing to object to the Presentence Investigation Report's (" PSR" ) characterization of his 1995 burglary conviction as a crime of violence under U.S.S.G. § § 2K2.1(a), 4B1.2(a)(2); and (2) his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective " in failing to fulfill movant's intention to plead guilty." In an October 5, 2011, Opinion and Order, the district court concluded that counsel was not constitutionally ineffective for failing to object to the use of the 1995 burglary conviction as a basis for enhancing Groves's sentence under U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(a). The district court reserved its ruling on Groves's claim that trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for failing to pursue plea negotiations. The district court then held an evidentiary hearing on August 2, 2012. On August 17, 2012, the district court entered an Opinion and Order concluding that Groves's third court-appointed trial counsel was not constitutionally ineffective for failing to tell the government that Groves

Page 590

wanted to accept the government's plea offer. The district court entered judgment denying Groves's § 2255 motion on August 21, 2012.

On September 19, 2012, Groves filed a notice of appeal and a motion for a certificate of appealability pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 2253(c)(2) in the district court. On October 1, 2012, the district court denied the motion for a certificate of appealability. On February 14, 2013, we granted a certificate of appealability as follows: " We find that Groves has made a substantial showing that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel. In addition to any other alleged errors by counsel that Groves wishes to argue, the parties should specifically address whether counsel was ...


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