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Eagle v. United States

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

February 14, 2014

Kevin Walking Eagle, Petitioner - Appellant
v.
United States of America, Respondent - Appellee

Submitted November 21, 2013.

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of South Dakota - Rapid City.

For Kevin Walking Eagle, Petitioner - Appellant: Sarah Elizabeth Baron Houy, BANGS & MCCULLEN, Rapid City, SD.

Kevin Walking Eagle, Petitioner - Appellant, Pro se, Lisbon, OH.

For United States of America, Respondent - Appellee: Eric D. Kelderman, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Rapid City, SD; Kevin Koliner, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Sioux Falls, SD.

Before RILEY, Chief Judge, BRIGHT and KELLY, Circuit Judges. RILEY, Chief Judge, concurring in all of the opinion except for footnote 2 on page 7.

OPINION

Page 1080

BRIGHT, Circuit Judge.

Kevin Walking Eagle appeals the district court's[1] denial of his motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel on the ground that his counsel failed to file an appeal from his conviction. The district court denied relief after giving Walking Eagle a full evidentiary hearing. We affirm.

I. Background

Walking Eagle, a Native American residing on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, pled guilty to engaging in a Continuing Criminal Enterprise in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 848(a) and (c) for his involvement in a drug operation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Although the plea agreement included a general waiver of appeal, Walking Eagle retained the right to appeal jurisdictional issues.

The district court in March of 2010 sentenced Walking Eagle to the mandatory

Page 1081

minimum of 20 years in prison as well as a five-year period of supervised release. At the sentencing hearing, the district court judge informed Walking Eagle of his right to appeal certain issues under the plea agreement, and that he had 14 days to file a qualifying appeal. The judge also instructed Walking Eagle to contact the clerk's office within 14 days if he wanted to appeal but his attorney could not assist ...


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