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London v. Metzger

United States District Court, D. Delaware

February 7, 2018

KAMILLA DENISE LONDON, Aka Jesus L. Pinkston, Petitioner,
v.
DANA METZGER, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.[1]

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          SLEET, DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the court is petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("petition") filed by petitioner Kamilla Denise London ("London"). (D.I. 3) The State filed an answer in opposition. (D.I. 9) For the following reasons, the court will deny the petition as barred by the one-year limitations period prescribed in 28 U.S.C. § 2244.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In May 2011, London pled guilty to manslaughter (as a lesser-included offense of second degree murder), leaving the scene of a collision resulting in death, and first degree reckless endangering. (D.I. 9 at 2) On July 29, 2011, the Superior Court sentenced London to a total of thirty-two years at Level V imprisonment, suspended after twenty-five years, for decreasing levels of supervision. (D.I. 11 at 142-143) London did not file a direct appeal.

         On October 26, 2011, London filed a motion for modification of sentence, which the Superior Court denied on December 9, 2011. (D.I. 11 at 5) London did not appeal that decision.

         On June 6, 2012, London filed a pro se motion for correction of an illegal sentence, which the Superior Court granted on June 20, 2012. (D.I. 9 at 2; D.I. 11 at 5) As a result, the Superior Court modified the effective date of London's sentence from July 29, 2011 to the correct date of May 3, 2010. (D.I. 9 at 2)

         On July 11, 2012, London field a pro se motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61 motion), which the Superior Court denied on November 13, 2013. (D.I. 11 at 5, 9); see State v. Pinkston, 2013 WL 3819637, at *12 (Del. Super. Ct. July 22, 2013). The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that decision on August 28, 2014. See Pinkston, 2013 WL 3819637, at *3.

         In March 2015, London filed in this court a habeas petition asserting the following four grounds for relief: (1) the Superior Court performed a deficient plea colloquy; (2) the Superior Court's harsh sentence was based on impermissible factors; (3) defense counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to file a direct appeal; and (4) defense counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to share the results of London's psychological evaluation when deciding whether to plead guilty or not. (D.I. 3) The State filed an answer asserting that the petition should be denied as time-barred or, alternatively, because the claims are procedurally barred. (D.I. 9)

         II. ONE YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") was signed into law by the President on April 23, 1996, and habeas petitions filed in federal courts after this date must comply with the AEDPA's requirements. See generally Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 336 (1997). 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 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 ...

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