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Johnson v. Ebbert

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

January 30, 2017

DAVID R. JOHNSON, Petitioner
v.
Warden DAVID J. EBBERT, Respondent

          MEMORANDUM

          William J. Nealon United States District Judge.

         David R. Johnson, an inmate formerly confined in the Canaan United States Penitentiary, Waymart, Pennsylvania, ("USP-Canaan"), filed this pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.[1]

         Johnson challenges the Bureau of Prisons' ("BOP") calculation of his federal sentence. (Doc. 1, petition). Specifically, he seeks "credit for time spent 'in custody' from 11-25-1997 up and to 12-15-1999", which was the time "Petitioner was held over at Oak Hill juvenile jail." Id. A response and traverse having been filed, the petition is ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, the petition will be denied.

         I. Background

         On November 25, 1997, Johnson was arrested as a juvenile on multiple charges and held at the Oak Hill Youth Detention Center. (Doc. 1, at 3).

         On December 15,1999, Johnson was indicted in the District of Columbia's Superior Court and committed to the Central Detention Center for adults on charges of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, carrying a pistol without a license, and second degree murder. (Doc. 16-1 at 9, Inmate Record). Although the Bureau of Prisons' records indicate the date of this offense to be July 4, 1996, (see Doc. 16-1 at 8), the Bureau of Prisons was unable to obtain any documentation from the District of Columbia Superior Court in order to determine whether Johnson's time in juvenile detention was related to these charges. (§££ Doc. 16-1 at 2, Declaration of Grace Woods-Coleman at ¶ 9).

         On January 10, 2002, Johnson was charged with manslaughter. (Doc. 16-1 at 9, Inmate Record). Bureau of Prisons' records indicate the date of this offense to be June 9, 1997. 14. The Bureau of Prisons was unable to obtain any documentation from the District of Columbia Superior Court in order to determine whether Johnson's time in juvenile detention was related to these charges. (Doc. 16-1 at 2, Woods-Coleman Decl. at ¶ 9).

         On December 11, 2002, Johnson was sentenced to a twenty-five (25) year to life term of imprisonment, after being found guilty of the charges of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, carrying a pistol without a license, and murder II while armed. (Doc. 16-1 at 12, Judgment in a Criminal Case). Johnson was awarded prior custody credit for the period of time beginning on December 15,1999 (the date he was committed to the adult facility), through December 10, 2002 (the date of sentencing). (Doc. 16-1 at 11, Custody and Detention Form for D.C. Superior Court Prisoner dated 12/28/02).

         On June 25, 2003, Johnson was sentenced to a seven (7) to twenty-one (21) years term of imprisonment after entering a plea of guilty to manslaughter. (Doc. 16-1 at 13, Judgment in a Criminal Case dated 6/25/03). The sentence was ordered to be served concurrently with the 25 year to life term imposed on December 11,2002. Id.

         In connection with the instant petition, prison officials at the Bureau of Prisons' Designation and Sentence Computation Center (DSCC) in Grand Prairie, Texas, obtained and reviewed all of the materials connected with Johnson's sentences imposed by the D.C. Superior Court on December 11, 2002 and June 25, 2003, as well as all of the documentation related to Johnson's request for custody credit. (See Doc. 16-1 at 1, Declaration of Grace Woods-Coleman, BOP Management Analyst at the Designation and Sentence Computation Center at ¶ 3).

         It is Johnson's allegation that he is entitled to additional custody credit dating back to his initial arrest as a juvenile on November 25, 1997. (Doc. 1, petition). While prison officials attempted to obtain further documentation from the D.C. Superior Court to clarify Johnson's allegations, they were unable to obtain any additional documentation indicating that Johnson should receive the requested credit. (Doc. 16-1 at 1, Woods-Coleman Declaration at ¶ 9).

         By Order dated June 13, 2016, the Court directed Respondent to again inquire into Petitioner's claim that his juvenile custody was related to his federal sentence and, therefore, should be credited with time spent in juvenile detention. (Doc. 28).

         In an August 11, 2016 declaration, Grace Woods-Coleman, Management Analyst at the Designation and Sentence Computation Center, who conducted the review of Johnson's sentence computation, provided the following supplemental information:

I previously obtained and reviewed all of the available materials connected with Johnson's sentence imposed by the District of Columbia, Superior Court on June 25, 2003, as well as all the documentation related to his request for custody credit for an additional period of time spent in custody from November 25, 1997 through December 14,1999 and concluded, based on the available information and existing ...

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