United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
C. GARGIULO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
THE COURT is a Petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for a
Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody, filed by
Petitioner Edmond Denton Reeves in January 2019. The Petition
challenges Reeves' 2013 convictions for second degree
murder, first degree arson, and possession of a firearm by a
convicted felon. Respondent Frank Shaw has filed a Motion to
Dismiss (ECF No. 6), asserting that Reeves' Petition is
barred by the one-year statute of limitations in 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d). Having considered the submissions of the
parties, the record, and relevant legal authority, the
undersigned United States Magistrate Judge concludes that
Reeves' Petition is barred by the one-year statute of
limitations and recommends that Respondent's Motion to
Dismiss be granted and Petitioner's request for relief
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 be denied.
is a postconviction inmate in the custody of the Mississippi
Department of Corrections (MDOC). In October 2012, a grand
jury in George County, Mississippi, indicted Reeves for
deliberate design murder, first degree, arson, and possession
of a weapon by a convicted felon. (ECF No. 6-1). In October
2013, Reeves pleaded guilty to second degree murder, first
degree arson, and possession of a firearm by a convicted
felon. Reeves admitted that that he shot his father in the
chest with a shotgun and in the head with a rifle. (ECF No.
7-2, at 17). Reeves admitted that he then burned the body and
residence of the victim. Id. at 17-18. Reeves had
previously been convicted in the State of Louisiana of
vehicular manslaughter and acknowledged he was unlawfully in
the possession of firearms. Id. at 17-18.
George County Circuit Court sentenced Reeves to serve forty
years without parole in the custody of MDOC for second degree
murder, with fifteen years suspended and five years of
post-release supervision. (ECF No. 6-3). The Circuit Court
sentenced Reeves to serve fifteen years for arson and ten
years for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, with
all sentences to run concurrently. Id.
filed a motion for postconviction relief in George County
Circuit Court in October 2016. The Circuit Court denied the
motion for postconviction relief in November 2016. Reeves
appealed. The Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed the
Circuit Court's decision in March 2018. Reeves'
requests for rehearing and certiorari review were denied.
See Reeves v. State, 256 So.3d 632 (Miss. Ct. App.
2018), reh'g denied, Aug. 7, 2018, cert.
denied, Nov. 8, 2018.
filed the instant § 2254 Petition for federal habeas
relief in January 2019. Respondent asserts that Reeves'
Petition must be dismissed because it is barred by a one-year
statute of limitations and neither statutory nor equitable
tolling applies. Reeves contends that that the statute of
limitations was tolled because he filed a motion for
postconviction relief in Circuit Court that was not fully
exhausted until November 2018. Alternatively, Reeves contends
that equitable tolling applies because his mental
incompetency prevented him from timely filing a petition for
federal habeas corpus relief.
considering the merits of a petition under 28 U.S.C. §
2254 for a writ of habeas corpus, the Court must first
determine if all procedural steps necessary to preserve each
issue for federal review have been taken. The first
consideration is whether the petition was timely filed. Under
the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”), a state prisoner is subject to a
one-year period of limitations for filing a § 2254
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
laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was
prevented from filing by such State action;
C. the 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
D. the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or
claims presented could have been discovered through the