Archives for posts with tag: ineffective assistance

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
VU NGUYEN, Defendant.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEVADA
2:03-cr-158-KJD-PAL
May 29, 2013

Opinion by United States District Judge Kent J. Dawson:

This matter is before the Court on remand from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for the limited purpose of granting or denying a certificate of appealability.

This case arises from the armed robbery of Chong Hing Jewelers in Las Vegas Nevada. In the course of the robbery, several luxury watches having a value of approximately $885,000 were taken by two individuals. The robbers were covered, head-to-toe, in ninja-style white clothing. Before entering the store, one of the robbers executed the store security guard who had his back to them and was cleaning store windows. Eye witnesses had little to go on in describing the robbers other than the fact that one was carrying an assault-type rifle and the other was carrying a bag, and there appeared to be a height difference between the two individuals. The robbers were inside the store for no more than 90 seconds and store employees were assaulted in the process of the robbers obtaining access to the contents of display cabinets.

There was no deficiency in performance of counsel where counsel based the defense on a theory of lack of presence at the scene, incorporating facts and testimony of eyewitnesses to the crime combined with a lack of physical evidence placing Defendant there. This is also entirely consistent with the claim of Defense counsel that they were not previously informed by Defendant of his participation in the robbery. However, even if Defendant did inform counsel of his involvement and potential defense to the shooting, the outcome would not have been different.

Accordingly, Defendant is denied a certificate of appealability.

This may be the first mention of a white ninja outfit, as the prior clothing references refer to mostly (if not always) black clothing, but definitely not the first ninja robbery.

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This defendant’s name is Ninja Palms. She admitted her part in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute crack cocaine and plead guilty but then balked at sentencing and claimed she didn’t understand the plea. Here, the Court denies her petition for habeas relief.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
NINJA PALMS, Defendant.

No. 05 c 374
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION
2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88657

Opinion by Judge Wayne R. Andersen, decided November 29, 2006

This case is before the court on Ninja Palms‘ (“Palms”) petition for writ of habeas corpus. Palms is asking the court to vacate, set aside, or correct her sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. For the following reasons, the petition is denied. Id.
BACKGROUND

Beginning in 1994 and continuing until March 2002, Palms contributed in a drug conspiracy to manufacture and distribute crack cocaine. As part of the conspiracy, co-defendants, Troy Lawrence (“Lawrence”) and Cameron Wilson (“Wilson”), delivered kilograms of powder cocaine to Palms’ apartment. Lawrence cooked the powder cocaine into crack cocaine and broke it into small pieces. Palms, Lawrence, Wilson, Levert Griffin, and Montel Goings would then place the small pieces of crack cocaine into individual bags, seal them, and then store them in Palms’ apartment until they were sold. Palms admitted in her plea agreement that she delivered crack cocaine packages to the “shift runners” at a drug spot which was within 1,000 feet of the Gavin Elementary School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Palms also admitted in her plea agreement that she occasionally accompanied Lawrence during the purchases of the cocaine purchases, and, in exchange for Palms’ help, Lawrence promised to pay her rent plus a weekly salary. However, Palms states she sometimes did not receive the weekly salary.

On July 16, 2002, Palms was charged with: (1) conspiring to posses with intent to distribute; and (2) distributing powder and crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b) and 21 U.S.C. § 860(a). Represented by court-appointed counsel and pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 846 and 18 U.S.C. § 2, on November 26, 2002 Palms pled guilty to Count I of the indictment.

Then

On July 8, 2004, Palms was sentenced to 112 months imprisonment. On January 20, 2005, Palms filed the instant petition to vacate, set aside, or correct her sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. As support for her petition, Palms raises the constitutional arguments of ineffective assistance of trial counsel and that she involuntarily pled guilty and now asks this court to examine both claims.

But

Palms affirmed her understanding of this portion of the plea agreement at the plea hearing. (11/26/02 Plea Hearing at 11.) She offers no support in her petition to show that her attorney improperly advised her regarding her right to collaterally attack her sentence. In fact, Palms’ affirmative response at the plea hearing supports the conclusion that she knowingly waived her right to collaterally attack her sentence.

The claims of ineffective assistant do not satisfy analysis under first prong of Strickland.

Ninja Palms’ petition for writ of habeas corpus to vacate, set aside, or correct her sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is denied.