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Cornelous v. Beasley

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division

February 26, 2018

KENYATTA CORNELOUS PETITIONER
v.
GENE BEASLEY, Warden, FCC-Forrest City RESPONDENT

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

         INSTRUCTIONS

         The following proposed Findings and Recommendation have been sent to Chief United States District Judge Brian S. Miller. You may file written objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the factual and/or legal basis for your objection, and (2) be received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of fact.

         DISPOSITION

         On May 9, 2009, petitioner Kenyatta Cornelous (“Cornelous”) was arrested and detained by Pinellas County, Florida, authorities for the offenses charged in Florida v. Cornelous, CRC 09-09625CFANO. See Docket Entry 1 at CM/ECF 19; Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 1.[1] He was released on bond on August 14, 2009. See Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 1.

         On November 18, 2009, Cornelous was indicted in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa in United States v. Cornelous, 3:09-cr-00110. See Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 2; Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook, Attachment 2. The federal offenses were unrelated to the state offenses. See Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 2.

         On November 22, 2009, Cornelous was arrested and detained a second time by Pinellas County, Florida, authorities. See Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 2.[2] The United States Marshals Service (“USMS”) lodged a detainer against him the following day. See Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 2.

         On March 16, 2010, the USMS acquired temporary custody of Cornelous pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. See Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 2. The USMS acquired custody of Cornelous so that he could answer the offenses charged in the federal case.

         On September 1, 2011, Cornelous was sentenced in the federal case to a 320 month term of imprisonment. See Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 2. The judgment and commitment order was silent “regarding any relationship with the forthcoming action” in Pinellas County, Florida. See Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 2. He was returned to the custody of Pinellas County, Florida, authorities, and the judgment in the federal case was filed as a detainer. See Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 3.

         On March 1, 2013, Cornelous was sentenced in the state case to 19.25 years imprisonment. See Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 3. The counts were ordered to run “concurrently and for [the] state sentence to run concurrent to ... [his] federal sentence. In addition, the judge ordered ... Cornelous [to] receive 1, 293 days credit toward his state term for [the] time he was in custody prior to [the] imposition of his state sentence.” See Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 3.

         On April 2, 2013, Cornelous was transferred from the custody of Pinellas County, Florida, authorities to the Florida Department of Corrections (“FDC”). See Docket Entry 7, Declaration of James D. Crook at 3. He had anticipated, though, that he would be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) as “[t]he state judge [had] made oral stipulations in the plea agreement that [Cornelous] be turned over to the [BOP] and the state prosecutor agreed and signed the agreement.” See Docket Entry 1 at CM/ECF 7.

         On May 13, 2015, a Pinellas County, Florida, judge granted Cornelous' motion for post-conviction relief in the state case but did so on a limited basis. In the order, the judge ordered the following:

On March 1, 2013, [Cornelous] pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery (counts one and four), three counts of human trafficking (counts two, five, and eight), three counts of deriving proceeds from prostitution (counts three, six, and nine), and false imprisonment (count seven) ... Under the plea agreement, the Court sentenced [him] ¶ 19.25 years in prison on all counts, concurrent with each other and with any prior federal conviction. ...
[Cornelous'] motion for post-conviction relief requests that he be resentenced to time served because his negotiated plea agreement called for his sentence to be served in federal prison concurrent with a federal sentence, which has not occurred. ... The State has conceded that [he] is entitled to post-conviction relief but argues that the Court should provide a different remedy. At the status check, the State argued that it wanted to receive the benefit of the bargain it made with [Cornelous]. The State requested that the Court allow [him] to withdraw his plea. [He] could then proceed to federal prison, at which point the State would file a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum to return him to this Court. [He] could then plead guilty and receive the same sentence he is currently serving. ...
Accordingly, based on the State's representations, the Court will grant [Cornelous'] motion to the extent that the Court will allow him an opportunity to withdraw his plea so that the State may proceed in the procedure it has outlined. A motion for post-conviction relief is the proper vehicle to withdraw a defendant's plea more than thirty days after sentencing. ... Should the State be unable to transport [Cornelous] to federal custody ...

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