United States District Court, D. Delaware
Lewis. Pro se Petitioner.
L. Arban, Deputy Attorney General of the Delaware Department
of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Respondents.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
CONNOLLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Petitioner Corey Lewis' Petition for
a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254
("Petition"). (D.I. 1; D.l. 3) The State filed an
Answer in opposition. (D.l. 13) For the reasons discussed,
the Court will deny the Petition.
2013, Petitioner was indicted and charged with carrying a
concealed deadly weapon ("CCDW"), possession of a
firearm by a person prohibited ("PFBPP"),
possession of ammunition by a person prohibited, receiving a
stolen firearm, driving a vehicle with a suspended or revoked
license, no proof of insurance, and spinning tires. See
Lewis v. State, 125 A.3d 681 (Table), 2015 WL 5935050,
at *1 (Del. Oct. 12, 2015). These charges stemmed from a
traffic stop. On December 2, 2013, Petitioner pled guilty to
possession of a firearm by a person prohibited
("PFBPP") and carrying a concealed deadly weapon
("CCDW"). Id. In exchange for
Petitioner's plea, the State agreed to nolle
prosse the remaining charges, to seek habitual offender
status only on the CCDW charge, and to cap its sentence
recommendation at thirteen years at Level V incarceration.
Id. On February 14, 2014, the Delaware Superior
Court declared Petitioner an habitual offender on the CCDW
charge, and sentenced him to a total period of sixteen years
at Level V incarceration, suspended after serving thirteen
years for decreasing levels of supervision. Id.
Petitioner did not appeal his convictions or sentences.
5, 2014, Petitioner filed a motion for sentence modification.
(D.l. 17-3 at 3, Entry No. 21) The Superior Court denied the
motion on May 28, 2014, stating that CCDW and PDWBPP are
"separate and distinct charges, so double jeopardy does
not prohibit separate convictions and sentences." (D.I.
17-2 at 3, Entry No. 22) Petitioner did not appeal that
filed a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to
Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61
motion") on January 7, 2015, alleging ineffective
assistance of counsel for failing to file a suppression
motion. The Superior Court denied the Rule 61 motion in June
2015,  and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed
that decision on October 12, 2015. See Lewis, 2015
WL 5935050, at *2.
November 18, 2015, Petitioner filed a motion for correction
of sentence, alleging that he was illegally sentenced as an
habitual offender. See Lewis v. State, 137 A.3d 972
(Table), 2016 WL 2585680, at *1 (Del. Apr. 26, 2016). The
Superior Court denied the motion for correction of sentence,
and the Delaware Supreme affirmed that decision on April 26,
2016. See Lewis, 2016 WL 2585680, at *2. Petitioner
filed the instant habeas Petition while his motion for
correction of sentence was still pending before the Delaware
GOVERNING LEGAL PRINCIPLES
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of
enacted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of
1996 ("AEDPA") "to reduce delays in the
execution of state and federal criminal sentences .. . and to
further the principles of comity, finality, and
federalism." Woodford v. Garceau, 538 U.S. 202,
206 (2003). Pursuant to AEDPA, a federal court may consider a
habeas petition filed by a state prisoner only "on the
ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution
or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(a). AEDPA imposes procedural requirements and
standards for analyzing the merits of a habeas petition in
order to "prevent federal habeas 'retrials' and
to ensure that state-court convictions are given effect to
the extent possible under law." Bell v. Cone,
535 U.S. 685, 693 (2002).
Standard of Review
state's highest court adjudicated a federal habeas claim
on the merits, the federal court must review the claim under
the deferential standard contained in 28 U.S.C. §
2254(d). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), federal habeas
relief may only be granted if the state court's decision
was "contrary to, or involved an unreasonable
application of, clearly established federal law, as
determined by the Supreme Court of the United States,"
or the state court's decision was an unreasonable
determination of the facts based on the evidence adduced in
the trial. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1) & (2); see
also Williams v. Taylor,529 U.S. 362, 412 (2000);
Appel v. Horn,250 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2001). A
claim has been "adjudicated on the merits" for the
purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) if the state court
decision finally resolves the claim on the basis of its
substance, rather than on a procedural or some other ground.
See Thomas v. Horn,570 F.3d 105, 115 (3d Cir.
2009). The deferential standard of § 2254(d) applies
even "when a state court's order is unaccompanied by
an opinion explaining the reasons relief has been