Williams v. USA
OPINION AND ORDER denying 4 Motion to Reconsider. Signed by Judge Jon E DeGuilio on 5/22/2017. (Copy mailed to pro se party)(rmc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Case No. 3:14-CR-91 JD
OPINION AND ORDER
Defendant Darius Williams has filed a motion under Rule 59, asking that the Court
reconsider its denial of his motion under § 2255. Mr. Williams’ motion to reconsider does not
present any new claims, nor does it raise any new evidence or arguments that were not already
before the Court. Instead, it merely rehashes the same arguments that the Court already
considered and discussed in denying the motion. Mr. Williams therefore presents no valid basis
for reconsideration, so his motion must be denied.
In addition, the arguments that Mr. Williams raises in his motion to reconsider are all
meritless. Mr. Williams again argues that his counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate
possible suppression motions. As the Court explained in its previous order, for Mr. Williams to
receive relief on that basis, he would have to show that if counsel had investigated properly, a
motion to suppress would have been granted and he would not have pled guilty. Long v. United
States, 847 F.3d 916, 920 (7th Cir. 2017); Gilbert v. Merchant, 488 F.3d 780, 790–91 (7th Cir.
2007); United States v. Cieslowski, 410 F.3d 353, 360 (7th Cir. 2005). Even in his motion to
reconsider, Mr. Williams fails to address those topics. Instead, he argues only that if his attorney
had investigated properly, he could have requested hearings on these topics. But for the reasons
explained at length in the Court’s order, any hearings would have been fruitless, as Mr. Williams
has identified no colorable basis for suppression.
Mr. Williams also again argues that his arrest on November 11, 2014, at the time the
search warrants were executed, was unlawful. As previously discussed, however, Mr. Williams’
arrest was lawful despite the absence of an arrest warrant. First, the officers’ months-long
investigation into Mr. Williams’ and his co-defendant’s drug dealing produced probable cause to
believe he had committed a number of offenses. In addition, Mr. Williams was lawfully detained
incident to the execution of the search warrant, as he was caught fleeing as officers began
entering the home, and the search itself produced contraband and additional evidence tying Mr.
Williams to unlawful activity. Mr. Williams also notes that the docket reflects that he was
arrested on November 13, 2014, when in fact he was taken into custody on November 11, 2014.
However, that docket notation is not meant to indicate the date Mr. Williams was first taken into
custody; it merely indicates the date that Mr. Williams was arrested pursuant to the indictment
that was returned the previous day. Mr. Williams further argues that no probable cause affidavit
was submitted in support of the arrest warrant issued on November 12, 2014. However, that
arrest warrant was based on an indictment, meaning evidence had been presented to a grand jury,
which independently found that probable cause existed to charge Mr. Williams with the offenses
in the indictment. No separate affidavit or judicial finding of probable cause is necessary in those
Mr. Williams next argues that counsel’s failure to investigate and file suppression
motions prejudiced him at sentencing. Besides failing on their merits, any such motions would
have had no effect at sentencing. First, the exclusionary rule does not apply to sentencing
proceedings. United States v. Sanders, 743 F.3d 471 (7th Cir. 2014). Thus, even if counsel had
filed a successful motion to suppress, the Court would have still been required to consider all of
the evidence at the sentencing stage, whether it had been suppressed from trial or not. Id. And
second, Mr. Williams’ attorney negotiated a plea agreement that included a binding term of
imprisonment. The Court accepted that agreement and imposed the exact term of imprisonment
that Mr. Williams asked for, even though it was lower than the guideline range by almost four
years. Moreover, had Mr. Williams proceeded to trial and been convicted, his guideline range
would have been about twice as long as the sentence he received. Thus, far from rendering
ineffective assistance relative to the length of Mr. Williams’ sentence, Mr. Williams’ attorney
secured an unusually favorable outcome for him. 1
Finally, Mr. Williams argues that the Court should have at least held an evidentiary
hearing prior to denying his motion. However, for the reasons discussed at length, Mr. Williams’
claims are meritless, and he has not alleged “facts that, if proven, would entitle him to relief,” so
no hearing is warranted. Martin v. United States, 789 F.3d 703, 706 (7th Cir. 2015). Therefore,
the Court denies Mr. Williams’ motion to reconsider. [Case -372, DE 4; Case -91, DE 138].
ENTERED: May 22, 2017
/s/ JON E. DEGUILIO
United States District Court
For the same reasons, Mr. Williams’ argument that his attorney told him the guideline range
would be lower than it ended up being is irrelevant, as Mr. Williams still received the sentence
he agreed to in his binding plea agreement, which he confirmed under oath that he understood
and agreed to.
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