166 F.3d 1215 (6th Cir. 1998), 97-1616, Tyler v. U.S.

Docket Nº:97-1616.
Citation:166 F.3d 1215
Party Name:Germaine TYLER, Petitioner-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent-Appellee.
Case Date:October 20, 1998
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Page 1215

166 F.3d 1215 (6th Cir. 1998)

Germaine TYLER, Petitioner-Appellant,


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 97-1616.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

October 20, 1998

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA6 Rule 28 and FI CTA6 IOP 206 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Before GUY, RYAN, and CLAY, Circuit Judges.

RYAN, Circuit Judge.

Petitioner, Germaine Tyler, proceeding pro se, appeals the district court's judgment denying his petition to set aside, vacate, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. He claims that his trial counsel prevented him from accepting a plea offer, coerced him into perjuring himself during trial, and consequently, violated his constitutional right to the assistance of counsel. The district court denied the petition without an evidentiary hearing, and that presents the issue we must decide.

We hold that the district court erred in failing to hold an evidentiary hearing on Tyler's ineffective assistance of counsel claim, and accordingly, we remand this matter to the district court with instructions to hold such a hearing.


On June 12, 1992, Tyler was charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846; distribution of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); and carrying a firearm during the trafficking in cocaine base in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1). Two of Tyler's accomplices confessed and agreed to testify against him. Tyler was initially represented by attorney Thomas McCombs but he later retained attorney Jonathan Holt to replace McCombs. The substitution of counsel form was filed with the district court on September 24, 1992, but Tyler claims in his affidavit that Holt was representing him and was in possession of the case file well before the substitution of counsel was filed.

Between the time of the indictment and the trial, which began on January 25, 1993, the government offered Tyler a plea agreement which included a recommendation to the court of a sentence of 63-78 months plus the mandatory five years for the "carrying a firearm" charge. This would result in a sentence of approximately 123 months. The plea agreement stated that it would expire on September 23, 1992, and it is undisputed that it was not accepted by Tyler or his counsel. However, Tyler maintains that he wanted to plead guilty well after the expiration date of the plea agreement and, as evidence, points to the fact that he visited the Assistant United States Attorney Marlene Dayne on January 20, 1993. Both Dayne and Tyler claim that the purpose of the meeting was to reach an agreement for Tyler to plead guilty. Tyler's counsel, Holt, chose not to be present at the meeting. It is disputed whether this decision was approved by Tyler.

Tyler claims in his brief and in the affidavit he filed in support of his section 2255 petition that after that meeting with the AUSA, he met with Holt at a restaurant. Tyler claims that Holt "told" Tyler that he was not going to plead guilty because Holt wanted to get him out of doing any time in jail. According to Tyler, Holt then instructed Tyler what to say during trial, most of which was untrue. Tyler claims that he perjured himself at trial because Holt instructed him to do so.

Following a one-day trial the jury returned a guilty verdict on the conspiracy and distribution counts, and not guilty on the firearm...

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