United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Lord Beyah, seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255
from his federal conviction and sentence. Presently pending
before the Court are Mr. Beyah's motions to withdraw his
originally filed petition and replace it with an amended
petition. The Court grants the motions and deems the petition
that was filed on June 19, 2016 to be withdrawn in favor of
the one filed on June 8, 2017. The Court must now review the
amended petition pursuant to the Rules Governing Section 2255
Proceedings. For the reasons that follow, Issue One is
summarily dismissed as meritless. Respondent shall be ordered
to answer Issue Two.
Court adopts and recites the facts of the case as set forth
by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Mr.
Beyah's direct appeal:
On July 14, 2010, Beyah entered a post office in Mizpah, New
Jersey. He leapt over the counter, confronted the lone post
office employee (a female victim, C.D.) with a knife, and
demanded money. When C.D. attempted to flee, Beyah caught her
and forcibly dragged her back to the post office by her hair.
A struggle ensued, during which C.D. managed to grab the
knife blade, separate it from the handle, and stab Beyah in
his leg. In the process, however, C.D. cut her hand badly and
suffered permanent injuries as a result. Beyah then fled with
less than $100 in cash from the post office. A subsequent
investigation linked him to the crime through DNA evidence.
He was ultimately apprehended and gave a written confession
to the robbery.
Beyah waived indictment and, pursuant to a plea agreement,
pleaded guilty to a one-count information charging him with
assault of a postal employee during a robbery in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 2114(a). As part of the plea agreement, the
parties stipulated that (1) Beyah qualified as a career
offender, and (2) the total offense level, after a three
point reduction for acceptance of responsibility, was 31. The
parties also waived the right to file any appeal challenging
a sentence that was within the guideline range that resulted
from this agreed offense level.
The case proceeded to sentencing on December 2, 2011. The
District Court calculated a guideline range of 188 to 235
months. The Court heard from the husband of the victim, who
attested to the physical and psychological harm C.D. had
suffered as a result of the attack. The Court ultimately
sentenced Beyah to the top of the guideline range, 235
months, considering the violent and heinous nature of the
crime, and Beyah's extensive criminal history. Beyah
timely filed a pro se appeal and brief.
United States v. Beyah, 500 Fed.Appx. 182, 183-84
(3d Cir. 2012). The Third Circuit upheld the appellate
waiver as knowing and voluntary and dismissed the appeal.
19, 2016, Mr. Beyah filed a motion before the Third Circuit
seeking permission to file a second or successive § 2255
motion. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244. He argued he no
longer qualified as a career offender in light of the Supreme
Court's decision in Johnson v. United States,
135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015) (striking down the residual clause of
the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) as
unconstitutionally vague). The Third Circuit denied the
motion as unnecessary because Mr. Beyah had never filed a
first § 2255 motion. The motion was transferred to this
Court on July 21, 2016 with the direction to consider it as
filed on June 19, 2016.
23, 2016, Chief Judge Simandle entered Standing Order 16-2 at
the request of both the United States Attorney and the
Federal Public Defender for this District. Pursuant to that
standing order, all § 2255 motions filed in this
district raising claims under Johnson would be
stayed for a period of up to 150 days during which the
parties could confer and determine whether the
petitioner's challenge has merit. The Court directed the
Clerk to provide Mr. Beyah with a copy of the standing order
on September 21, 2016.
conclusion of the 150-day time period, the Court informed Mr.
Beyah of his rights and responsibilities associated with
filing a § 2255 motion pursuant to United States v.
Miller, 197 F.3d 644 (3d Cir. 1999). The Court directed
Mr. Beyah to inform it if he wished to proceed with his
§ 2255 motion as filed or if he wished to withdraw it
and submit a new, complete § 2255 motion. Mr. Beyah
thereafter submitted two requests to withdraw his original
petition and proceed with an amended petition. The Court grants
the requests and will direct the Clerk to file the amended
motion as a separate docket entry.
Court must now review the amended motion under the Rules
Governing § 2255 Proceedings.
STANDARD FOR SUA ...