United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DENYING MOTION FOR RELIEF PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside,
or Correct Sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 filed
by Petitioner, Christopher Justin Eads (“Eads”).
For the reasons explained in this Entry, the Motion is
denied and the action dismissed with
prejudice. In addition, the Court finds that a certificate of
appealability should not issue.
Eads was charged with possession and distribution of child
pornography and tampering with a potential witness. After a
four-day trial, the jury convicted Eads on all counts (these
being Counts 1, 2, and 5), and he was then sentenced to 480
months imprisonment. Following a hearing on his motion for
new trial and the denial of said motion on May 4, 2012, his
conviction was affirmed on appeal in United States v.
Eads, 729 F.3d 769, 771-72 (7th Cir. 2013). The
evidentiary summary from Eads's appeal is the following:
Sometime in May 2011, Detective Darin Odier of the
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's Cyber
Crimes Unit found an Internet Protocol (IP) address offering
400 files of nude children through a file sharing program
called “Shareaza.” Detective Odier obtained a
subpoena for the Comcast subscriber associated with the IP
address, and it came back with the name “Christopher
Eads.” By the time Detective Odier had prepared a
search warrant, the IP address that belonged to Eads was no
longer active. But by October 26, 2011, it was up and running
again. At this time, Detective Odier downloaded five files
associated with Eads's IP address and found images with
code names associated with child pornography such as,
“Pedo Babyshivid Childlover Private Daughter Torpedo
Ranchi Lolita” and “Pedo Dad F*cks Toddler
On November 15, 2011, detectives conducted a search of
Eads's home and found two laptop computers, compact
discs, thumb drives, and a Bersa .40-caliber handgun. When
detectives searched the living room laptop, they discovered
6, 937 images of child pornography (including one image with
text written over it offering to rent a child for sex) and
over thirty minutes in total of child pornography videos.
Both Eads and his wife, Rachel Smith Eads, were home during
the search and Rachel agreed to speak with law enforcement.
Eads yelled through the house, “Don't tell them
anything.” Rachel told detectives that after dating
Eads for a couple of months, she found an FBI badge in his
pants pocket. When she confronted him about it, he told her
that he was an undercover FBI agent and that he had to
download child pornography as part of his duties. Rachel
further told detectives that the handgun they had found in
the home belonged to Eads (which was a problem for Eads
because he is a convicted felon).
Eads was later arrested and taken into federal custody. While
in custody from November 29-30, 2011, Eads called Rachel from
jail numerous times. Clearly frustrated and upset by
Rachel's statements to police, Eads repeatedly demanded
that she “make this right” and recant her
statements. Eads proposed that Rachel write to the judge
assigned to his case and state that Eads's former friend
and houseguest, Nathan Asbury, was trying to set him up.
Rachel promised to help her husband.
Eads, 729 F.3d at 772-73 (footnote omitted).
14, 2014, Eads filed his Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or
Correct Sentence alleging ten grounds as bases for his
motion. (Dkt. 1.) On March 16, 2015 Eads filed an amendment
to Claim six of his § 2255 motion. (Dkt. 16.)
Thereafter, the Court accepted Eads amendment and clarified
that the original § 2255 motion was amended by
interlineation, such that claim 6 as restated in the motion
to amend is now claim 6. (Dkt. 17.) The United States was
given an opportunity to respond and that response is at
seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. A petitioner
may avail himself of § 2255 relief only if he can show
that there are “flaws in the conviction or sentence
which are jurisdictional in nature, constitutional in
magnitude or result in a complete miscarriage of
justice.” Boyer v. United States, 55 F.2d 296,
298 (7th Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 268
(1995). Section 2255 is limited to correcting errors that
“vitiate the sentencing court's jurisdiction or are
otherwise of constitutional magnitude.” Guinan v.
United States, 6 F.3d 468, 470 (7th Cir. 1993) (citing
Scott v. United States, 997 F.2d 340 (7th Cir.
first claims that he was denied the right of confrontation by
the introduction of recorded jail telephone conversations
between himself and his wife, Rachael, after he had been
placed in federal custody. Eads' objection to the
introduction of these recordings was overruled because
Rachael's statements in the recordings were
non-testimonial for purpose of applying the rule of
Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 51 (2004).
See United States v. Neveaux, 2016 WL 6024529, at *2
(E.D. La. Oct. 14, 2016); Malone v. Kramer, 2010 WL
1404286, at *16-17 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 6, 2010), subsequently
aff'd sub nom. Malone v. Felker, 453 F. App'x
754 (9th Cir. 2011). In his 98 page brief (Dkt. 3), Eads
correctly asserts that he could have called Rachael as a
witness to clarify her statements. There was no
constitutional violation in facing the choice between ...