United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
FREDDIE L. WEBBER, JR. PETITIONER
MR. DENMARK, RESPONDENTS
SHARION AYCOCK, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the court on the pro se petition
of Freddie L. Webber, Jr. for a writ of habeas
corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The State has
responded to the petition; Webber has not replied, and the
deadline to do so has expired. For the reasons set forth
below, the instant petition for a writ of habeas
corpus will be denied.
and Procedural Posture
Webber is in the custody of the Mississippi Department of
Corrections and is currently housed at the Mississippi State
Penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi. Webber was convicted
for the sale of cocaine in Lowndes County Circuit Court Cause
No. 2010-0280-CR1H and sentenced to thirty years in the
custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections as a
non-habitual offender and to pay a fine of $5, 000.00. Webber
was originally sentenced as a habitual offender, but was
resentenced as a non-habitual offender following
post-conviction collateral review.
appealed his conviction and sentence to the Mississippi
Supreme Court. In his appellate brief, Webber raised the
following grounds for relief, as stated by Webber through
I. Whether the trial court erred by not exclude[ing] prior
bad acts evidence?
II. Whether the State's reliance on a paid confidential
informant entitled the defense to a cautionary instruction?
III. Whether the weight of the evidence supports a guilty
state supreme court affirmed Webber's conviction and
sentence. Webber v. State, 108 So.3d 930 (Miss.
2013) (Cause No. 2012-KA-00115-SCT).
then filed a pro se application in the Mississippi
Supreme Court seeking permission to proceed in the trial
court with a petition for post-conviction collateral relief.
In his application, Webber raised the following grounds for
relief, as summarized by the court:
I. The indictment was insufficient under Mississippi Uniform
County and Circuit Court Rule 7.06.
II. The trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to
impose Webber's sentence as a habitual offender under
Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-81.
Mississippi Supreme Court held in pertinent part:
After due consideration we find that Webber was unfairly
surprised by the State's motion to amend the indictment
to charge Webber as an habitual offender in accordance with
§ 99-19-83, and that in these circumstances the trial
court erred in sentencing Webber as an habitual offender.
This Court finds that Webber's Motion for Post-Conviction
Collateral Relief should be granted as to this claim. We
further find that Webber's sentence as a habitual
offender under Miss. Code Ann. §99-19-81 should be
vacated, and this matter should be remanded to the Lowndes
County Circuit Court for re-sentencing as a non-habitual
offender for the crime of which the jury convicted him.
then filed the instant federal petition for a writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C.A. § 2254, raising
the following grounds for relief (as stated by Mr. Webber):
Ground One: Direct [verdict] / J.N.O.V ineffective assistance
Ground Two: Petitioner her[e] wish to reargue the same
grounds that were raised on appeal.
Ground Three: Petitioner is wishing to re-argue his claim of
subject matter jurisdiction.
Ground Four: Due Process and Equal Protection 8/14 amendment.
noted above, the State originally moved to dismiss
Webber's petition because his allegations in Grounds One
and Four are unexhausted. Doc. 10. The court afforded Webber
an opportunity to amend his petition to delete the
unexhausted claims, Doc. 12, which he did, withdrawing
Grounds One and Four, Doc. 14.
Webber's withdrawal of the unexhausted grounds for
relief, the issues currently before the court are as follows,
as summarized by the court:
Ground Two: Claims raised on direct appeal:
A. Whether the trial court erred by not
excluding prior bad acts evidence?
B. Whether the State's reliance on a
paid confidential informant entitled the defense to a
C. Whether the weight of the evidence
supports a guilty verdict?
Ground Three: The trial court lacked subject
matter jurisdiction because his indictment was insufficient
under U.C.C.C.R. 7.06 for failure to list the ...