S.D.W.Va.: Post-conviction allegation of inadequate cross examination at suppression hearing didn’t state a sufficient claim

Defendant’s 2255 claim that defense counsel didn’t sufficiently cross-examine the government’s witnesses in the suppression hearing didn’t allege ineffective assistance of counsel. Also, defendant didn’t appeal the denial of the suppression motion and pled guilty instead. Thorne v. United States, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29427 (S.D. W.Va. Jan. 2, 2018):

In his supplemental memorandum, Movant argues that his counsel was also ineffective because he did not cross-examine witnesses at the suppression hearing or appeal the Court’s denial of the motion to suppress. (ECF No. 92 at 2). Movant offers no facts or argument upon which to conclude that cross-examination was warranted or would have reasonably affected the outcome of his case. Further, there is no explanation as to how Movant’s counsel’s actions during the suppression hearing affected the voluntary and intelligent character of the guilty plea that Movant subsequently entered. “The quality of counsel’s performance is irrelevant if it had no direct and significant impact on [Movant’s] decision to plead guilty. Huddleston v. United States, No. 3:10-CR-00042, 2012 WL 5949369, at *14 (S.D.W. Va. Aug. 29, 2012), report and recommendation adopted, No. CIV.A. 3:11-00403, 2012 WL 5954247 (S.D.W. Va. Nov. 28, 2012). Further, as to counsel’s failure to appeal the Court’s ruling on the motion to suppress, Movant knowingly and intelligently waived his right to appeal such ruling pursuant to his plea agreement, as discussed above.

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