United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. Gerrard United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court upon initial review of the pro se
motion to vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (filing 56)
filed by the defendant, Michael S. Stansall. The motion was
timely filed less than 1 year after the defendant's
conviction became final. See § 2255(f). The Court's
initial review is governed by Rule 4(b) of the Rules
Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the United States
District Courts, which provides:
The judge who receives the motion must promptly examine it.
If it plainly appears from the motion, any attached exhibits,
and the record of prior proceedings that the moving party is
not entitled to relief, the judge must dismiss the motion and
direct the clerk to notify the moving party. If the motion is
not dismissed, the judge must order the United States
attorney to file an answer, motion, or other response within
a fixed time, or to take other action the judge may order.
§ 2255 movant is entitled to an evidentiary hearing
unless the motion and the files and records of the case
conclusively show that the movant is entitled to no relief.
§ 2255(b); Sinisterra v. United States, 600
F.3d 900, 906 (8th Cir. 2010). Accordingly, a motion to
vacate under § 2255 may be summarily dismissed without a
hearing if (1) the movant's allegations, accepted as
true, would not entitle the movant to relief, or (2) the
allegations cannot be accepted as true because they are
contradicted by the record, inherently incredible, or
conclusions rather than statements of fact. Engelen v.
United States, 68 F.3d 238, 240 (8th Cir. 1995); see
also Sinisterra, 600 F.3d at 906.
defendant pled guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, of one
count of knowingly transporting a minor in interstate
commerce intending to engage in unlawful sexual activity, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(a). Filing 16 at 1; filing
37 at 1; filing 38. The plea agreement stipulated, pursuant
to Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C), that the defendant would
receive a sentence of 120 months' imprisonment.
Filing 38 at 3. The plea agreement also set forth
the factual basis for the plea, and stipulated that by
signing it, the defendant was certifying that he had read the
agreement and fully understood it. Filing 38 at 2,
7. The defendant signed the agreement. Filing 38 at
change of plea hearing, the defendant testified, under oath,
that he had read the plea agreement and that his counsel had
explained it to him. Filing 42 at 5. He was asked if
he was satisfied with his counsel, and he said he was.
Filing 42 at 7. And the factual basis for the plea
was again provided. Because the factual basis for the plea is
important to the defendant's postconviction arguments,
the Court will set it forth in detail. The government
If the case were to proceed to trial, evidence, including the
following, would be introduced:
That on or about June 7th of 2013, here in the District of
Nebraska, a 13-year-old female with the initials J.M. met the
Defendant, Mr. Stansall, who at that time was age 22, and
three other persons in North Platte, Nebraska. And that the
13-year-old female traveled with the Defendant and three
other persons via automobile to a residence in a rural area
near Wray, Colorado.
Evidence would further show that the Defendant and the
13-year-old female remained at the rural Colorado residence
overnight, and that at some time after dinner the female
began to feel ill and had a headache. She went to bed, and at
some time during the night she awoke and observed the
Defendant sitting on a couch where she had been sleeping. He
was dressed in his underwear shorts with an erection, rubbing
the girl's inner thigh with his hand. She went back to
sleep and awoke the following morning and discovered the
Defendant lying behind her on the couch spooning her. Both
were fully clothed -- or were clothed. I believe both had
undergarments on. When the 13-year-old female got up, she did
not feel well, had a soreness in her abdomen and vaginal
During interviews with the 13-year-old female with law
enforcement after she returned to Nebraska, she told the law
enforcement officer she has no memory of having sexual
intercourse with the Defendant Stansall. However, after the
Defendant and the girl awoke, the Defendant asked her how she
liked the sex they had had the previous evening, and when the
girl told the Defendant she hadn't -- had no memory and
didn't remember having sex the previous night, the
Defendant told her how funny it was, because if anyone asked
her if they had engaged in sexual relations, she would not be
able to answer or have any recollection.
Evidence would further show that the 13-year-old female and
the Defendant were located in Wray, Colorado, during the, I
believe, morning hours of June 8th of 2013. The 13-year-old
was taken to the Bridge of Hope facility in North Platte,
Nebraska, where an examination was performed and found
bruising and tearing, which the examining nurse and attending
physician stated were consistent with the 13-year-old having
engaged in sexual intercourse within the previous 48 to 72
hours. No semen was located. No DNA sample was taken.
Filing 42 at 17-18.
defendant's counsel agreed that if the case went to
trial, that evidence would go before the jury. Filing 42
at 19. The defendant was asked if the factual basis was
true. Filing 42 at 19. The defendant said that he
had "memory problems" and that "[f]rom the
evidence" he believed he had committed the crime, but
did not remember it. Filing 42 at 19-21. The
defendant said that he wanted the Court to accept his plea.
Filing 42 at 22. And the Court did so. Filing
stipulated 120-month sentence was, in fact, the mandatory
minimum. § 2423(a). The presentence report, and the
Court, found the defendant's Guidelines sentencing range
to be 130-162 months. Filing 50 at 23; filing 54
at 1. But the Court accepted the parties' plea
agreement, filing 54 at 4, and sentenced the
defendant to a term of 120 months' imprisonment,
filing 53 at 2.
defendant claims that his counsel was constitutionally
ineffective. Specifically, he claims that his counsel was
ineffective in (1) misinforming him that there was sufficient
evidence to support a conviction, (2) coercing him to plead
guilty, (3) failing to inform him that he could withdraw his
plea, (4) not ...