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Vaughn v. Fisher

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

November 28, 2018

MARCUS VAUGHN PETITIONER
v.
MARSHALL FISHER, ET AL. RESPONDENTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          MICHAEL P. MILLS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the court on the pro se petition of Marcus Vaught 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. Vaughn has not responded to the motion, 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 dismissed as untimely filed.

         Facts and Procedural Posture

         Marcus Vaughn is in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and is currently housed at the Yazoo Regional Correctional Facility in Yazoo City, Mississippi. He was convicted in Tunica County Circuit Court for manslaughter and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was originally indicted for murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon as a habitual offender under Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-81, which provides:

Every person convicted in this state of a felony who shall have been convicted twice previously of any felony or federal crime upon charges separately brought and arising out of separate incidents at different times and who shall have been sentenced to separate terms of one (1) year or more in any state and/or federal penal institution, whether in this state or elsewhere, shall be sentenced to the maximum term of imprisonment prescribed for such felony, and such sentence shall not be reduced or suspended nor shall such person be eligible for parole or probation.

         Mr. Vaughn's indictment reflects that he was previously convicted of four prior felonies - two convictions for possession of illegal narcotics and two convictions for automobile burglary. See Exhibit A[1] (Indictment in Tunica County Circuit Court Cause Number 2008-0025).

         Mr. Vaughn pled guilty to the lesser offenses of manslaughter as a habitual offender and to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon as a non-habitual offender. See Exhibit B (Petition of Defendant for Court to Accept Plea and Guilty Plea/Sentencing Hearing Transcript). On October 6, 2008, the Tunica County Circuit Court sentenced Vaughn to a mandatory twenty-year sentence in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (“MDOC”) as a habitual offender for manslaughter and a ten-year sentence in the custody of the MDOC for possession of a firearm by a felon to be served consecutively to his manslaughter sentence. See Exhibit C (Judgment and Sentence Cause No. 2008-0025 Count I, Sentencing Judgment Cause No. 2008-0025 Count II, and Notice of Criminal Disposition).

         Mr. Vaughn has filed pleadings in both the Tunica County Circuit Court and the Mississippi Supreme Court challenging the guilty pleas and resulting sentences. On November 6, 2009, he signed a “Motion for Post-Conviction Relief to Vacate Conviction and Sentence, ” which was stamped as “filed” in Tunica County Circuit Court Cause Number 2009-0335 on November 10, 2009. See Exhibit D.[2] On January 18, 2011, the Tunica County Circuit Court denied Mr. Vaughn's Motion for Post-Conviction Relief. See Exhibit E.[3]

         On January 28, 2011, he appealed the circuit court's decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court. See Exhibit F. On appeal, he argued that the circuit court erred by failing to conduct an evidentiary hearing on his motion for post-conviction relief, that his guilty pleas were not voluntarily and intelligently entered, and that he was denied effective assistance of counsel. See Exhibit G. The Mississippi Court of Appeals ruled that Mr. Vaughn's arguments held no merit and affirmed the Tunica County Circuit Court's denial of post-conviction relief. See Exhibit H (Vaughn v. State, 85 So.3d 907, 909 (Miss. Ct. App. 2012) (Cause No. 2011-CP-00176-COA)). The mandate issued on May 1, 2012. See Exhibit I. On May 16, 2012, Vaughn filed a Motion for Rehearing. See Exhibit J. By Order filed on August 21, 2012, the Mississippi Court of Appeals dismissed Vaughn's Motion for Rehearing as untimely. See Exhibit K. On September 17, 2012, Vaughn filed a Petition for Certiorari. See Exhibit L (Petition for Writ of Certiorari without Exhibits). On November 15, 2012, the Mississippi Supreme Court dismissed Vaughn's Petition for Certiorari as untimely. See Exhibit M.

         One-Year Limitations Period

         Decision in this case is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), 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 for seeking such review;
(B) the 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 ...

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