Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Griffin

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division

November 5, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
CARROLL GRIFFIN (01)

          PATRICK J. HANNA MAG. JUDGE

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is Defendant Carroll Griffin's (“Griffin”) Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [Doc. No. 505]. The motion is fully briefed, and the Court is prepared to rule.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         A. Procedural History

         A grand jury in Lafayette, Louisiana, indicted Griffin on various drug trafficking charges as well as a charge related to firearms on February 8, 2016. Griffin entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances on April 3, 2017, with retained counsel.

         Following the guilty plea, the U.S. Probation Office prepared a Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”), which included a calculation of the applicable guidelines for Griffin's offense. This calculation included a specific offense characteristic enhancement for possession of a firearm and an obstruction of justice enhancement due to Griffin's recklessly creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person in the course of fleeing from a law enforcement officer. This calculation yielded an advisory guideline range of 70 to 87 months incarceration. Griffin, through counsel, filed timely objections to the PSR. At the sentencing hearing held on September 22, 2017, the Court denied Griffin's objections to the PSR and sentenced him to 72 months incarceration, within the advisory guideline range, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Upon imposing the sentence, the Court advised Griffin of his right to appeal. Griffin did not file a notice of appeal.

         On January 22, 2018, Griffin filed the pending Motion to Vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (“2255 Motion”) [Doc. No. 505] alleging that his defense counsel, Mr. Alfred Boustany, II, (“Boustany”), was ineffective because, Griffin claims, defense counsel failed to follow Griffin's explicit instructions to appeal the sentence imposed.

         Griffin alleges in his 2255 Motion that prior to the sentencing, defense counsel assured him that if the district court failed to grant the objections to the PSR, defense counsel would appeal the objections. Griffin further alleges that, after the sentencing, defense counsel asked if Griffin wanted him to move forward with an appeal, stating that he preserved the record. Griffin asserts that he told his counsel that he wanted him to proceed with the appeal.

         In light of these allegations, the Court scheduled an evidentiary hearing which took place in Lafayette, Louisiana, on June 19, 2018. Griffin was not represented by counsel at the hearing. After hearing the evidence, the Court denied Griffin's motion, finding that Griffin did not carry his burden of showing that his defense counsel failed to follow specific instructions to file an appeal or otherwise acted in a manner that was professionally unreasonable [Doc. Nos. 524 and 525].

         On July 26, 2018, Griffin filed a notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [Doc. No. 528]. On July 29, 2019, the Fifth Circuit vacated the Court's ruling because Griffin was not appointed counsel for the evidentiary hearing. The Fifth Circuit remanded the case for a new evidentiary hearing with appointed counsel [Doc. No. 554].

         On August 5, 2019, the Court issued an order scheduling a new evidentiary hearing and appointing the Office of the Federal Public Defender to represent Griffin at the hearing [Doc. No. 555].

         The new evidentiary hearing was held in Lafayette, Louisiana, on October 30, 2019, with Griffin represented by Court-appointed counsel.

         B. Evidence ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.