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Williams v. State

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division

January 4, 2018

DILLON WILLIAMS PETITIONER
v.
THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI and JEFFREY A. KLINFUSS RESPONDENTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          NEAL B. BIGGERS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on the pro se petition of inmate Dillon Williams for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Respondents have moved to dismiss the petition as time-barred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244, and Williams has filed a response in opposition to the motion. For the reasons set forth below, Respondents' motion will be granted, and the instant petition will be dismissed with prejudice.

         Factual and Procedural History

         On or about January 26, 2010, Dillon[1]Williams burglarized the home of Pat Crum, assaulting the ninety-one-year-old woman during the home invasion. See, e.g., Doc. #16-1 at 27. During the assault, Ms. Crum sustained injuries that included a fractured shoulder and permanent nerve damage to her face. Williams v. State, 126 So.3d 992, 994 (Miss. Ct. App. 2013). Williams was indicted for two counts of burglary and one count of aggravated assault, with notice of enhanced punishment due to the victim's age. See, e.g., Doc. #16-1 at 1; Doc. #16-5 at 3. Williams subsequently pleaded guilty to burglary (home invasion) and aggravated assault in the Marshall County Circuit Court in Cause No. CR2010-194.[2] By Order dated December 16, 2010, the Marshall County Circuit Court sentenced Williams to consecutive terms of twenty-five years' imprisonment for the burglary conviction and to an enhanced punishment of forty years' imprisonment for the aggravated assault conviction. Doc. #16-1 at 30-31; see also Williams v. State, 218 So.3d 1190, 1191 (Miss. Ct. App. 2016); Williams v. State, 126 So.3d 992, 994-95 (Miss. Ct. App. 2013).

         On December 17, 2010, Williams, through counsel, filed a “Motion to Reconsider” in the circuit court asking the court to decrease the sentence imposed or, alternatively, to run the sentences concurrently. Doc. #16-2. The circuit court denied the motion on August 27, 2010. Id. at 3. On December 2, 2011, Williams, acting pro se, submitted a post-conviction motion to the Marshall County Circuit Court (Cause No. CV2011-503). Doc. #16-3. This motion was denied on its merits on August 27, 2012. Id. at 7. Williams did not appeal this decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

         Williams did, however, submit a second post-conviction motion in the Marshall County Circuit Court that was signed on December 10, 2012 (Cause No. CV2012-448). Doc. #16-4. The circuit court denied the motion by order entered on January 11, 2013, finding the motion was barred as a successive writ under Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-23(6). Id. at 21. Williams appealed, and on December 3, 2013, the Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court's decision. Id.; see also Williams v. State, 126 So.3d 992 (Miss. Ct. App. 2013) (Cause No. 2013-CP-00199-COA). Williams did not file a motion for rehearing with the Mississippi Court of Appeals nor a certiorari petition with the Mississippi Supreme Court. The mandate of the Mississippi Court of Appeals issued on December 26, 2013. Id. at 28.

         On November 21, 2013, Williams, with the assistance of counsel, submitted yet another post-conviction motion in the Marshall County Circuit Court (Cause No. CV2013-423) alleging that he was illegally sentenced because he was deprived of his statutory right to be sentenced by a jury for the sentencing enhancement. Doc. #16-5. The court denied the motion by order entered on July 14, 2014, finding the claim waived under Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-21(1) and the motion barred as a successive writ pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-23(6). Id. at 8-9. Williams appealed. Doc. #16-5. On March 22, 2016, the Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court's decision. Id.; see also Williams v. State, 218 So.3d 1190 (Miss. Ct. App. 2016), reh'g denied, August 9, 2016 (Cause No. 2014-CA-01170-COA).

         The Mississippi Supreme Court granted Williams' subsequent petition for writ of certiorari. However, on May 11, 2017, that court affirmed the lower courts' decisions denying Williams' application for post-conviction relief. Doc. #16-5; see also Williams v. State, 222 So.3d 265 (Miss. 2017) (Cause No. 2014-CT-01170-SCT). The mandate issued June 1, 2017. Doc. #16-5 at 28.

         Thereafter, Williams sought federal habeas relief. Williams signed the instant petition on May 30, 2017, and it was stamped “filed” in this Court on June 26, 2017. Doc. #1.

         Legal Standard

         The instant petition for writ of habeas corpus is subject to the statute of limitations of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA"). Egerton v. Cockrell, 334 F.3d 433, 436 (5th Cir. 2003). The issue of whether Respondents' motion should be granted turns on the statute's limitation period, which provides:

(d)(1) A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court.
The limitation period shall run from the latest of
(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time ...

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