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United States of America, et al v. Thomas

Case Summary: 03-cv-2416

This case involves a post-conviction claim by a criminal defendant, who was convicted of the armed robbery of an armored vehicle in 1998, that his conviction and sentence should be set aside due to the ineffective assistance of his trial counsel. The two day trial on this claim is the subject of the set of videos.

This case began in 2003 when the defendant, without counsel, filed his own motion to vacate his conviction and sentence. Defendant Thomas alleged that another man committed the robbery and that, had his trial counsel done an effective investigation, he would have discovered 1) a letter from the co-defendant admitting that he had committed the crime with a different person and 2) that the government’s star witness – the other man’s paramour – had lied on the stand. Additionally, among other errors, Thomas also alleges that the attorney did not investigate and present evidence from eyewitnesses that the perpetrator matched the description of the other man, identified the other man in an FBI lineup, or that the other man had committed a robbery of the same type armored vehicle just three weeks prior to the incident at issue.

The state argues that each of the points the defendant makes is either irrelevant, factually erroneous, or frivolous.

After numerous delays, the case went to trial on October 13, 2011. At the end of taking evidence, the defendant requested time to further brief the issues which the court allowed. After the trial, the defendant filed a motion to amend its original pleading to add a claim that the government did not provide the defendant with certain evidence it is required by law to provide which the government has answered. To date, no further action has taken place.

Case Highlights

  • Petition to Vacate Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2255 (filed 6/2/03)
  • Evidentiary Hearing on 10/12/2011-10/13/2011
  • Motions filed to amend/correct (11/21/2011) and for discovery (11/22/2011)
  • Post-hearing briefing


Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit