United States District Court, D. Delaware
LESTER F. ANDERSON, Petitioner,
DAVID PIERCE, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.
Lester F. Anderson, Pro se Petitioner.
Morgan Taylor Zurn, Deputy Attorney General of the Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Respondents.
RICHARD G. ANDREWS, District Judge.
Petitioner Lester F. Anderson ("Petitioner") has filed an Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("Petition"). (D.I. 1; D.I. 7) The State filed an Answer in opposition. (D.I. 17) For the reasons discussed, the Court will deny the Petition as barred by the limitations period prescribed in 28 U.S.C. § 2244.
In February 1992, a Delaware Superior Court jury found Petitioner guilty of first degree murder for fatally beating a person in the head ten to fifteen times with a baseball bat. See State v. Anderson, 1996 WL 769265, at *1 (Del. Super. Ct. Dec. 17, 1996). On July 10, 1992, the Delaware Superior Court sentenced Petitioner to life imprisonment. (D.I. 17 at 1) Petitioner appealed, and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Petitioner's conviction and sentence on May 14, 1993. See Anderson v. State, 625 A.2d 278 (Table), 1993 WL 169121 (Del. 1993).
On May 13, 1996, Petitioner filed his first motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61 motion"). See State v. Anderson, 1996 WL 769265 (Del. Super. Ct. Dec. 17, 1996). The Superior Court denied the Rule 61 motion on December 17, 1996, and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that decision on June 6, 1997. Id; Anderson v. State, 696 A.2d 396 (Table), 1997 WL 346191 (Del. June 6, 1997).
Petitioner filed a second Rule 61 motion on December 28, 1999, which the Superior Court denied on March 24, 2000. (D.I. 17 at 2) Petitioner appealed, but the Delaware Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction because the notice of appeal was untimely. See Anderson v. State, 757 A.2d 1277 (Table), 2000 WL 1152440 (Del. July 27, 2000). Petitioner filed a third Rule 61 motion on March 25, 2008, and the Superior Court denied that motion on April 9, 2008. See State v. Anderson, 2008 WL 1724257 (Del. Super. Ct. Apr. 9, 2008). Petitioner did not appeal that decision.
Petitioner filed his fourth Rule 61 motion on February 22, 2013. See State v. Anderson, 2013 WL 1196332 (Del. Super. Ct. Mar. 25, 2013). The Superior Court denied the motion, along with a motion by his co-defendant, Joe Travis, advancing a similar theory, on March 25, 2013, and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that judgment on June 26, 2013. See Anderson v. State, 69 A.3d 370 (Table), 2013 WL 3326827 (Del. June 26, 2013).
The instant Petition is dated May 2014, and asserts the following three grounds for relief: (1) the Superior Court erred by addressing and denying his fourth Rule 61 motion in the same written order as his co-defendant's motion; and (2) the attorney who represented him during his first Rule 61 proceeding provided ineffective assistance. The State contends that the Court should deny the Petition as time-barred. (D.I. 17)
II. ONE YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
AEDPA prescribes a one-year period of limitations for the filing of habeas petitions by state prisoners, which begins to 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 ...