United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
DOUGLAS P. WOODLOCK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Brymer and James H. Turpin have filed motions to vacate their
sentences pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 contending they
were improperly sentenced under a statute enhancing the term
of imprisonment for those using a firearm during and in
relation to a crime of violence.
January 5, 2006, Brymer and Turpin were each sentenced
imprisonment for 32 years based on their guilty pleas to two
counts of violating 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), which prescribes
certain punishments for “any person who, during and in
relation to any crime of violence or drug
trafficking crime . . . used or carries a firearm.”
(emphasis added). The predicate “crime[s] of
violence” supporting Brymer's and Turpin's
§ 924(c) convictions were bank robbery (in violation of
18 U.S.C § 2113(a) and (d)) and carjacking (in violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 2119(1)).
on Supreme Court precedent since their convictions, Brymer
and Turpin contend that their predicate crimes no longer
constitute “crime[s] of violence” under §
924(c)(3) and, as a result, that they are entitled to
post-conviction relief. More recent First Circuit precedent
applying the Supreme Court teachings upon which they rely has
undercut their contentions. For the reasons explained below,
I will deny their motions.
before 6:00 p.m. August 28, 2003, Brymer and Turpin (both
wearing masks) entered the Telephone Workers Credit Union at
the South Shore Plaza in Massachusetts. At least one of the
men wielded and brandished a large silver revolver. The man
with the revolver threatened one teller with the gun and
banged the barrel of the gun on the glass during the robbery.
The other man approached a second teller and showed her a bag
into which she placed the contents of her cash drawer.
departing with $5, 756, Brymer and Turpin made off in a
stolen van they had been spotted in earlier in the day. Two
witnesses (a woman and a security guard from the shopping
mall) followed Brymer and Turpin to a location several blocks
away where a switch car (also stolen) was waiting. The woman
saw Brymer get out of the driver's side of the getaway
van and hold up a large silver revolver. The guard arrived
shortly after and saw a man hold up a silver revolver and
threaten him with it.
and Turpin, who had removed their masks, fled in the switch
car. After driving the car several blocks, they abandoned it,
and carjacked a Dodge pickup truck at gunpoint. During the
carjacking, one of the men held the gun to the driver's
head and told him he would kill him unless he gave up the
blocks away, the two men abandoned the pickup truck, jumped a
fence, and ran onto a highway offramp, where they
unsuccessfully attempted to carjack a second car.
that evening, the police picked up Brymer and Turpin in the
general area in which they had fled.
November 12, 2003, a grand jury charged both defendants with:
one count of aggravated bank robbery (in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 2113(a) and (d)); one count of carjacking (in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2119(1)); one count of
attempted carjacking (in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
2119(1)); and three counts of use of a firearm during a crime
of violence, specifically the three aforementioned offenses
(in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)).
to a plea agreement, both Brymer and Turpin pled guilty to
Counts Two (violation of § 924(c) with respect to bank
robbery) and Four (violation of § 924(c) with respect to
carjacking) of the superseding indictment. In exchange, the
Government agreed to dismiss the other four counts. The
parties agreed to a disposition requiring Brymer and Turpin
each to serve the mandatory minimum sentence on both counts
consecutively, for a total of 32 years in prison. On ...