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Rodgers v. Pierce

United States District Court, D. Delaware

April 30, 2014

EMMANUEL RODGERS, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID PIERCE, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents. [1]

Decided Date: April 29, 2014.

Page 467

Emmanuel Rodgers, petitioner, Pro se.

Gregory E. Smith, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Counsel for respondents.

Page 468

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Sue L. Robinson, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Currently before the court is Emmanuel Rodgers' (" petitioner" ) application for a writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (D.I. 3) For the reasons that follow, the court will dismiss petitioner's § 2254 application as time-barred by the one-year period of limitations prescribed in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1).

II. BACKGROUND

In September 2004, petitioner was indicted on eight counts of second degree rape. See Rodgers v. State, 19 A.3d 302 (Table), 2011 WL 1716371, at *1 (Del. 2011). These charges were based on allegations that petitioner, who was twenty-eight years old, had intentionally engaged in sexual intercourse with a fourteen year old girl without her consent. Id. In May 2005, a Delaware Superior Court jury convicted petitioner of three counts of second degree rape. See Rodgers v. State, 894 A.2d 407 (Table), 2006 WL 568572 (Del. 2006). The State moved to have the charges and convictions reduced to fourth degree rape, and the Superior Court granted that motion. See Rodgers v. State, 19 A.3d 302 (Table), 2011 WL 1716371, at *1 (Del. 2011). The Superior Court then sentenced petitioner as an habitual offender to forty-six years at Level V incarceration,

Page 469

suspended after forty-five years for a period of probation. See Rodgers, 894 A.2d 407, 2006 WL 568572, at *1. The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed petitioner's convictions and sentence on March 7, 2006. Id.

Petitioner filed a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 (" Rule 61 motion" ) on April 23, 2008. (D.I. 14 at 5) A Superior Court Commissioner issued a Report and Recommendation concluding that the Rule 61 motion should be denied as time barred and procedurally defaulted. See Rodgers, 19 A.3d 302, 2011 WL 1716371, at *1. On October 5, 2010, the Superior Court adopted the Recommendation and Report and denied petitioner's Rule 61 motion. Id. The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that decision on May 3, 2011. See 19 A.3d 302, id. at *2.

Soon thereafter, petitioner filed a ยง 2254 application asserting two grounds for relief: (1) the Delaware State Courts erred in denying his Rule 61 motion as time-barred; and (2) defense counsel provided ineffective assistance during the trial and on direct appeal. The State filed an answer, asserting that the application should be denied in its entirety as time-barred or, alternatively, because claim one ...


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