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Roundtree v. United States

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 30, 2014

Lorenzo Roundtree, Petitioner - Appellant
v.
United States of America, Respondent - Appellee

Submitted October 25, 2013.

Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Cedar Rapids.

For Lorenzo Roundtree, Petitioner - Appellant: O'Bryan Law Firm, Des Moines, IA.

Lorenzo Roundtree, Lorenzo Roundtree, Pro se, Terre Haute, IN.

For United States of America, Respondent - Appellee: U.S. Attorney's Office, Cedar Rapids, IA.

Before BYE, SMITH, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 924

BYE, Circuit Judge.

Lorenzo Dontae Roundtree appeals the denial without a hearing of his motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence, in which he alleged various grounds for a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. We granted a certificate of appealability to consider whether the district court was required to conduct an evidentiary hearing in this case and whether Roundtree's trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by not informing Roundtree 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C) mandated Roundtree receive a life sentence if convicted at trial. We remand to the district court for an evidentiary hearing.

I

In 2006, Roundtree was indicted for distribution of heroin resulting in the death of another in violation of 21 U.S.C. § § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). Roundtree had previously been convicted of an earlier felony drug offense. Accordingly, pursuant to § 841(b)(1)(C), he faced a mandatory life sentence if convicted of the charge at trial. Roundtree and the government discussed various plea options. However, Roundtree decided to proceed to trial, after which he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. His conviction was affirmed on direct appeal on September 17, 2008. United States v. Roundtree, 534 F.3d 876 (8th Cir. 2008).

In 2009, Roundtree filed a pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Among other grounds not germane to this appeal, Roundtree alleged his trial counsel, Michael Lindeman, had provided ineffective assistance by failing to advise Roundtree of the mandatory nature of the life sentence pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C).

In 2011, Roundtree moved to amend his petition, to allege, ...


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