United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
WALTON PR, JUDGE.
Discussing Motion for Relief Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 2255 and
Denying Certificate of Appealability
For the reasons explained in this entry, Petitioner Logan
Mediate's (âMediateâ) motion for relief pursuant to 28
U.S.C. Â§ 2255 must be denied and the action
dismissed with prejudice. In addition, the Court finds that a
certificate of appealability should not issue.
The Â§ 2255 Motion
motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 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). A court may grant relief from a federal
conviction or sentence pursuant to Â§ 2255 âupon the ground
that the sentence was imposed in violation of the
Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court
was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the
sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or
is otherwise subject to collateral attack.â 28 U.S.C. Â§
2255(a). The scope of relief available under Â§ 2255 is
narrow, limited to âan error of law that is jurisdictional,
constitutional, or constitutes a fundamental defect which
inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice.â
Borre v. United States, 940 F.2d 215, 217 (7th Cir.
case began with the government's investigation and
prosecution of his mother, Jennifer Gaddy (âGaddyâ), for
distributing methamphetamine. According to the complaint
initiating her prosecution and the factual basis for her
guilty plea, Gaddy sold methamphetamine in three controlled
buys. Gaddy dkts. 1, 31. In one of the controlled buys, Gaddy
sold methamphetamine on January 15, 2014, inside a residence
located at 2519 South McClure Street in Indianapolis. Gaddy
dkt. 31. The January 15 controlled buy was carried out by a
âconfidential human source, â known as âCHS, â who was
working with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and a local
gang crimes task force. Gaddy dkts. 1, 31. Gaddy was arrested
on February 26, 2014, and charged with three counts of
distributing methamphetamine. Crim. dkt. 1 at Â¶ 7; Gaddy dkt.
to the complaint filed in his criminal case, Mediate
confronted CHS twice on March 17, 2014. Crim. dkt. 1. CHS
visited a friend that evening at a residence on Lyons Avenue
in Indianapolis. Id. at Â¶ 8. CHS's children also
were present. See Id. at Â¶ 10. When CHS exited the
residence, he found that Mediate and two other men had pulled
up in a red pickup truck, positioning the truck in a manner
that prevented CHS from driving away. Id. at Â¶ 8.
Mediate repeatedly accused CHS of âsetting upâ Gaddy's
arrest through controlled buys. Id. at Â¶ 9.
Eventually, CHS gathered his children and fled to his own
residence in Indianapolis's Mars Hill neighborhood.
See Id. at Â¶ 10.
complaint further states that Mediate and the other two men
followed CHS. See Id. Outside CHS's residence,
Mediate threatened to kill CHS unless he moved away from the
Mars Hill neighborhood. Id. at Â¶ 11. Mediate also
discouraged CHS from testifying against Gaddy. Id.
During this incident, Mediate allegedly pointed a sawed-off
shotgun at CHS and fired a round into the air. Id.
at Â¶ 12.
on March 17, CHS reported these confrontations to FBI and
task force agents, describing Mediate's actions, the
pickup truck, and the sawed-off shotgun. Id. at Â¶
8-13. On March 24, officers saw a red pickup truck matching
CHS's description parked outside 2519 South McClure
Streetâthe location of one of Gaddy's controlled buys.
Id. at Â¶ 14. A resident of the McClure Street home
stated that Mediate regularly spent the night there and that,
approximately a week earlier, Mediate had borrowed his red
pickup truck for the night. Id. at Â¶ 15. The
resident stated that Mediate owned a sawed-off shotgun and
led the officers to the bedroom where Mediate stayed.
Id. In the closet, the officers saw a shotgun
matching the description provided by CHS. Id. at Â¶
was subsequently arrested and indicted on five charges. Crim.
dkt. 16. On April 2, 2015, Mediate pled guilty to tampering
with a witness in violation of 18 U.S.C. Â§ 1512(a)(2) and
possessing a short-barreled shotgun in furtherance of a crime
of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. Â§ 924(c)(1)(B)(i).
Crim. dkt. 64. During the plea hearing, Mediate admitted that
he knew CHS was an informant who would testify against his
mother, that he confronted CHS on March 17, 2014, that he had
a shotgun present during the confrontation, and that he told
CHS he would kill him unless he moved away from Mars Hill.
Id. at 22:2-23:7. The Court accepted Mediate's
guilty plea and, consistent with an agreement between Mediate
and the United States, imposed a sentence of 156 months'
imprisonment. Id. at 24:18-25:1, 33:8-14; crim. dkt.
38 at Â¶ 2. Mediate now challenges his conviction on four
grounds and asks the Court to remand his criminal case for a
challenges the enforceability of his guilty plea on three
bases: that he entered his plea without the benefit of
effective assistance from his court-appointed attorney; that
he did not enter his plea voluntarily; and that he entered
his plea without the benefit of exculpatory evidence that the
government unlawfully withheld from him. Mediate also asks
the Court to vacate his conviction for possessing a
short-barreled shotgun in furtherance of a crime of violence
based on the Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v.
United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). For the reasons
set forth below, the Court finds that none of these arguments
presents a basis for relief.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
first asserts that he pled guilty without the effective
assistance of counsel as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.
Civ. dkt. 1 at 2-5, 7-8. Specifically, Mediate asserts that
his court-appointed attorney, Theodore Minch, failed to
thoroughly gather evidence, interview witnesses, and
otherwise investigate the case. Id. In a supplement
to his petition, Mediate states that he asked Mr. Minch to
investigate CHS's credibility, interview certain
witnesses, and obtain video from security cameras at homes
and businesses near the locations where he confronted CHS.
Civ. dkt. 16 at 2-5. Mediate implies that such an
investigation may have uncovered evidence that would have
enabled him to successfully defend his charges at a trial or
even motivated the government to drop its charges.
petitioner claiming ineffective assistance of counsel bears
the burden of showing that (1) trial counsel's
performance fell below objective standards for reasonably
effective representation, and (2) this deficiency prejudiced
the defense. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668,
688-94 (1984); United States v. Jones, 635 F .3d
909, 915 (7th Cir. 2011). To satisfy the first prong of the
Strickland test, the petitioner must direct the
Court to specific acts or omissions of his counsel. Wyatt
v. United States, 574 F.3d 455, 458 (7th Cir. 2009). The
Court must then consider whether, in light of all of the
circumstances, counsel's performance was outside the wide
range of professionally competent assistance. Id. In
order to satisfy the prejudice component, Mediate must
establish that âthere is a reasonable probability that, but
for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the
proceeding would have been different.â Strickland,
466 U.S. at 694.
counsel's âpurported deficiency is based on a failure to
investigate, we require the petitioner to allege what the
investigation would have produced.â Long v. United
States, 847 F.3d 916, 920 (7th Cir. 2017) (internal
quotation omitted). It is well-settled that an ineffective
assistance claim based on deficient investigation âmust
provide the court sufficiently precise information, that is,
a comprehensive showing as to what the investigation would
have produced.â Richardson v. United States, 379
F.3d 485, 488 (7th Cir. 2004) (internal quotations and
citations omitted). Moreover, if the petitioner pled guilty
in the criminal proceeding, he must call the Court's
attention to information that raises a reasonable probability
that he would have insisted upon going to trial had the
evidence been uncovered before he pled guilty. See
Id. at 488 (citing Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S.
52, 58-60 (1985)).
motion falls short of the high standard for ineffective
assistance claims. Although he has described specifically
what avenues he believes Mr. Minch should have investigated,
he has not described the evidence he believes Mr. Minch would
have uncovered in that investigation. Mediate has not
described what would have been captured by the security
cameras he identified or what the witnesses he identified
would have said to advance his defense.
argues that interviewing CHS and the McClure Street resident
who led investigators to the shotgun would have led to
evidence that they cooperated with the government's
prosecution of Mediate to achieve favorable resolution of
their own criminal cases. See civ. dkt. 16 at 3-4.
Such evidence may have raised questions about their
credibility, but it would not have established Mediate's
innocence. Moreover, Mediate pled guilty to intimidating CHS
because his work as a confidential informant led to
Gaddy's arrest. Consequently, Mediate cannot
establish a reasonable probability that CHS's work as a
confidential informant was unknown at the time he pled guilty
or that knowledge of that work would have provoked him to
defend his charges at trial had it been discovered sooner.
Nor does the Court find a reasonable probability that
evidence of the McClure Street resident's cooperation
would have caused Mediate to insist upon going to trial. In
sum, the Court finds no legal basis to support Mediate's
ineffective assistance claim.
Voluntariness of Plea
next asserts that he did not enter voluntarily into his
guilty plea. Civ. dkt. 1 at 3- 4. Rather, he asserts that the
factual basis for his plea was falseâthat he did not point or
discharge a firearm or otherwise threaten CHS. Id.
at 4. Mediate further asserts that he maintained his