United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING MOTION FOR RELIEF PURSUANT TO 28
U.S.C. § 2255 AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF
William T. Lawrence, Judge
motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is the presumptive
means by which a federal prisoner can challenge his
conviction or sentence. See Davis v. United States,
417 U.S. 333, 343 (1974). For the reasons explained in this
Entry, the motion of Austin Williams, Jr., for relief
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 must be denied and this
action dismissed with prejudice.
addition, the Court finds that a certificate of appealability
should not issue.
October 23, 2013, Williams was charged in an eight-count
Indictment in the Southern District of Indiana. Crim. Docket
No. 14. Counts 1 through 3 charged Williams with sexual
exploitation of a child, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
2251(a). Counts 4 and 5 charged Williams with enticing a
minor through internet communications, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 2422(b). Counts 6 and 7 charged Williams with
distribution of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
Id. § 2252(a)(2). Count 8 charged Williams with
possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
April 25, 2014, Williams filed a Petition to Enter a Plea of
Guilty. Crim. Docket No. 31. In the Petition, Williams
represented to the Court that he received a copy of the
Indictment, read and discussed it with his attorney, and
understood the charges brought against him. He stated that
his attorney had advised him of the punishment, and that he
offered his plea of guilty freely and voluntarily and of his
own accord. Petition, ¶¶ 3, 4, and 10.
same date, a Plea Agreement was filed pursuant to Federal
Rules of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(B). Crim. Docket No. 32.
The parties agreed that Williams would plead guilty to Counts
1 through 8 as charged in the Indictment. Id. The
parties agreed that the final determination of William's
sentence, including the applicable advisory guideline
calculation, criminal history category, and advisory
sentencing guideline range would be made by the Court.
Id. The government agreed that the Court should
sentence Williams to a term of imprisonment between 15 and 50
years, followed by a term of supervised release of at least
10 years and up to life. In exchange for the concessions made
by the United States, Williams agreed that in the event the
Court accepted this Plea Agreement and imposed a sentence of
no greater than 50 years, Williams would waive his right to
appeal his conviction and sentence and to waive any
collateral attack against his conviction and sentence.
Id. The waiver did not encompass claims of
ineffective assistance of counsel in the negotiation of the
plea or plea agreement. Id.
30, 2014, the Court held a change of plea hearing. Crim.
Docket No. 37. Before the hearing, the parties filed a
stipulated factual basis signed by all the parties, including
Williams. Crim. Docket No. 30. During the change of plea
hearing, the Court advised Williams of his rights and the
possible penalties and accepted the parties' stipulated
factual basis as an adequate basis for the plea. Crim. Docket
No. 37. The Court found that Williams was fully competent and
able to enter an informed plea, and that the plea was made
voluntarily and knowingly. Id. The Court reviewed
the stipulated factual basis for the plea and found that the
plea is supported by an independent basis in fact containing
each of the essential elements of the offenses charged.
Id. The Court then accepted Williams's guilty
plea and adjudged him guilty of Counts 1 through 8 as charged
in the Indictment. Id. See also dkt. 66 (Transcript
of Guilty Plea Hearing).
October 1, 2014, the Court held Williams's sentencing
hearing. Crim. Docket No. 54; see also dkt. 71 (Transcript of
Sentencing Hearing). Williams was sentenced to 336
months' imprisonment to be followed by a lifetime of
supervised release. Id. Williams was also assessed
the mandatory assessment of $800 and a fine in the amount of
$1500. Id. The Court entered a judgment of
conviction on October 3, 2014. Crim. Docket No. 55.
October 14, 2014, Williams filed a notice of appeal. Crim.
Docket No. 58. On March 23, 2015, Williams filed a motion to
voluntarily dismiss his appeal and on March 24, 2015, the
Seventh Circuit ordered the dismissal of his appeal.
March 21, 2016, Williams filed this motion for
post-conviction relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
Williams' motion seeks a sentence reduction and asserts
four grounds for relief. The United States responded and
Williams did not file a reply.
filed this § 2255 motion seeking a sentence reduction.
He asserts that his counsel was ineffective because she
failed to adequately represent him. His assertions in this
regard are general and vague. Judge v. Quinn, 612
F.3d 537, 557 (7th Cir. 2010) (“We have made clear in
the past that it is not the obligation of this court to
research and construct legal arguments open to parties . . .
and we have warned that perfunctory and undeveloped