United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
MICHAEL P. MILLS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the court on the pro se petition
of Sylvester Bell for a writ of habeas corpus under
28 U.S.C. § 2254. The State has moved to dismiss the
petition as untimely filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2).
Mr. Bell has responded to the petition, and the matter is
ripe for resolution. For the reasons set forth below, the
State's motion to dismiss will be granted and the instant
petition for a writ of habeas corpus will be
dismissed as untimely filed.
and Procedural Posture
Bell pled guilty to statutory rape in the Circuit Court of
Tunica County, Mississippi and was sentenced on July 6,
20017, as a habitual offender to serve a term of thirty years
in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
That same day, Bell pled guilty to a two-count indictment for
armed robbery (Count 1) and aggravated assault (Count II).
ECF Doc. 6, pp. 62-69. The court sentenced Bell to serve ten
years on each count to run concurrently with each other, and
both Counts I and II were ordered to run concurrently with
his sentence on the statutory rape charge. ECF Doc. 6, pp.
of the Tunica County Circuit Court and the Mississippi
Supreme Court reflect that Bell filed documents challenging
his plea and sentence in both courts. On October 12, 2009,
Bell signed a “Motion for Post-Conviction Collateral
Relief, ” which was stamped as filed on October 19,
2009, in the Tunica County Circuit Court. The trial court
denied this motion on January 19, 2011. Bell appealed the
trial court's decision, and the Mississippi Court of
Appeals affirmed the lower court's denial of relief on
September 4, 2012. Bell v. State, 105 So.3d 401
(Miss. Ct. App. 2012), reh'g denied, January 15,
2013 (Cause No. 2011-CP-00214). The mandate of the state
appellate court issued on February 5, 2013.
four years after filing his original petition (and shortly
after the appellate court's decision on his first
post-conviction), Bell signed a second motion for
post-conviction relief on April 9, 2013, which was filed in
the Tunica County Circuit Court on April 15, 2013. The trial
court denied Bell's motion on June 27, 2014, as a
successive petition, finding no exceptions to the procedural
bar. The trial court also denied Bell's motion for
rehearing on November 5, 2014. Bell appealed the lower
court's decision, and the Mississippi Court of Appeals
affirmed the lower court's denial of relief. Bell v.
State, 207 So.3d 705 (Miss. Ct. App. 2016),
reh'g denied, October 11, 2016, cert.
denied, January 12, 2017 (Cause No. 2014-CP-1370-COA).
The mandate of the court of appeals issued on February 2,
in this case is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), which
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 -
date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of
direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such
date on which the impediment to filing an application created
by State action in violation of the Constitution or the laws
of the United States is removed, if the applicant was
prevented from filing by such State action;
date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially
recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly
recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively
applicable to cases on collateral review; or
date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims
presented could have been discovered through the exercise of
time during which a properly filed application for State
postconviction or other collateral review with respect to the
pertinent judgment or claim is pending shall not be ...