Spencer v. USA
ORDER - Movant's § 2255 motion (Doc. 1) is DENIED without an evidentiary hearing, and the Court declines to issue a certificate of appealability. Signed on 8/28/17 by Chief District Judge Greg Kays. (Strodtman, Tracy)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
VIRGINIA LYNN SPENCER,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
(Crim. No. 4:14-CR-0164-01-DGK)
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO VACATE COUNT TWO OF INDICTMENT
Movant Virginia Spencer pled guilty under a plea agreement to aiding and abetting an
armed bank robbery (Count One) and aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm in
furtherance of a crime of violence (Count Two), a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). The Court
sentenced Movant to a total of 123 months’ imprisonment.
Movant subsequently filed the pending motion to vacate Count Two of the indictment
under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Doc. 1). A district court may vacate a federal conviction if it “was
imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a).
Movant contends her sentence is unlawful in the wake of Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct.
2551 (2015), arguing armed bank robbery no longer qualifies as a predicate crime of violence
under § 924(c).
Assuming for the sake of argument that Movant’s raising this claim in a § 2255 petition
does not violate the provision of her plea agreement waiving her right to collaterally attack her
sentence, and that she did not procedurally default this claim by failing to raise it in a direct
appeal, it is still unavailing. In Allen v. United States, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
reaffirmed in the wake of Johnson its long-held stance that bank robbery is a crime of violence
under § 924(c)(3)(A). 836 F.3d 894, 894 (8th Cir. 2016). If the Court were to consider whether
armed bank robbery is a crime of violence under § 924(c)(3)(B), it would reach the same
conclusion because the Eighth Circuit has also held recently that Johnson’s reasoning does not
apply under § 924(c)(3)(B)’s “risk-of-force” prong either. United States v. Prickett, 839 F.3d
697, 699-700 (8th Cir. 2016). Because Movant’s claim is foreclosed by recent Eighth Circuit
caselaw, it is denied.
Where a motion raises no disputed question of fact, an evidentiary hearing is not
required. United States v. Meyer, 417 F.2d 1020, 1024 (8th Cir. 1969). There are no disputed
questions of fact here, so no evidentiary hearing will be held.
Finally, the Court holds no reasonable jurist would grant this motion and so declines to
issue a certificate of appealability. See Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); 28 U.S.C.
In conclusion, Movant’s § 2255 motion (Doc. 1) is DENIED without an evidentiary
hearing, and the Court declines to issue a certificate of appealability.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Date: August 28, 2017
/s/ Greg Kays
GREG KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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