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Bible v. Morgan

United States District Court, D. Delaware

June 3, 2014

DONALD E. BIBLE, Petitioner,
v.
PHILLIP MORGAN, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.

Donald E. Bible. Pro se petitioner.

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

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GREGORY M. SLEET, Chief District Judge.

Petitioner Donald E. Bible ("Bible") filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("petition"). (DI 1) The State filed an answer in opposition. (D.I. 16) For the following reasons, the court will deny the application as time-barred by the one-year limitations period prescribed in 28 U.S.C. § 2244.

I. BACKGROUND

As summarized by the Delaware Supreme Court, the facts leading up to Bible's conviction are as follows:

In March 2005, [a Kent County] grand jury indicted Bible on 111 criminal offenses, including over twenty counts of Rape in the First Degree. The charges stemmed from sexual assaults on twin girls over a ten-year period, beginning when they were less than five years old. In February 2006, the State offered Bible a plea to two counts of Rape in the First Degree with a presentence investigation to be conducted. After further discussions between the prosecutor and defense counsel, the State revised its plea offer to one count of Rape in the First Degree, one count of Rape in the Third Degree as a lesserincluded offense, and one count of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child. As part of the revised plea offer, the State agreed to drop the remaining criminal charges, refrain from requesting a presentence investigation, and recommend a total Level V sentence of thirtysix years, including nineteen years of minimum mandatory time.
On October 2, 2006, with the assistance of counsel, Bible accepted the State's revised plea offer and pleaded guilty to the three charges. The Superior Court followed the state's recommendation on sentencing.

Bible v. State, 998 A.2d 850 (Table), 2010 WL 2680542, at *2-3 (Del. July 7, 2010). Bible did not appeal his convictions.

On October 6, 2006, Bible filed a motion to amend sentence. (D.I. 18, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 27) The Superior Court granted the motion on October 31, 2006, and modified Bible's sentence to reflect the appropriate amount of restitution due and state that Bible's Delaware sentence was to begin upon the completion of his federal setnence. (D.I. 16, Ex. A) Bible filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea on December 5, 2006, and a motion for modification of sentence on December 11, 2006. (D.I. 18, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry Nos. 32, 33) The Superior Court denied the motion for modification of sentence on December 26, 2006. (D.I. 18, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 37) Bible's motion to withdraw his guilty plea remained pending.

On October 4, 2007, Bible filed a document titled "Memorandum filed from Donald Bible to Judge Young re: following is a completed motion seeking post-conviction relief as to a plea agreement presented on October 2, 2006." (D.I. 18, App. to Appellant's Op. Br. in Bible v. State , No. 716, 2009, at State v. Bible, ID No. 0501015134, Commr's Rep. & Rec. (Del. Super. Ct. Aug. 5, 2009)) That same day, Bible filed an amended motion to withdraw his plea. (D.I. 18, Del. Super. Ct. Crim, Dkt. Entry No. 40) On October 5, 2007, Bible filed another memorandum stating that "following is a completed motion seeking post-conviction relief as to a plea agreement presented on October 2, 2006, " as well as another amended motion to withdraw his guilty plea. (D.I. 18, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry Nos. 41 & 42) On March 19, 2008, the Superior Court denied Bible's motions for sentence modification and the motion to withdraw his plea that was filed in December 2006 and amended in October 2007. (D.I. 18, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 43)

On April 24, 2008, Bible filed a letter request for forms. (D.I. 18, Del. Super. Ct. Crim, Dkt. Entry No. 45) On May 19, 2008, Bible filed a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61 motion") on the required form. (D.I. 18, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 48) In August 2009, a Delaware Superior Court Commissioner recommended that the Rule 61 motion be denied as time-barred or, alternatively, as meritless. (D.1. 18, App. to Appellant's Op. Br. in Bible v. State , No. 716, 2009, at State v. Bible, ID No. 0501015134, Commr's Rep. & Rec. (Del. Super. Ct. Aug. 5, 2009)) On October 8, 2009, the Superior Court adopted the Commissioner's Recommendation and Report and denied the Rule 61 motion. (D.I. 18, App. to Appellant's Op. Br. in Bible v. State , No. 716, 2009, at State v. Bible, ID No. 0501015134, Order. (Del. Super. Ct. Oct. 8, 2009)) The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that decision on July 7, 2010. See Bible, 2010 WL 2680542, at *2.

Thereafter, Bible filed motions to credit his sentence on August 5, 2010, August 25, 2010, and November 23, 2010, all of which were denied by the Superior Court. (D.I. 18, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry Nos. 97, 99, 104, 108, 109); see also Bible v. State, 12 A.3d 1153 (Table), 2011 WL 252903 (Del. Jan. 24, 2011). On March 15, 2011, Bible filed another motion to credit his sentence with time served, which the Superior Court granted on May 5, 2011; as a result, ...


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