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Moyler v. Clarke

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division

June 20, 2014

Thomas Moyler, Petitioner,
v.
Harold Clarke, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JAMES C. CACHERIS, District Judge.

Thomas Moyler, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 J.S.C. § 2254, challenging the validity of his convictions of first degree murder and use of firearm during the commission of a felony in the Circuit Court for the City of Norfolk. Virginia. On November 25, 2013, respondent moved to dismiss the petition and Moyler was given the opportunity to file responsive materials, pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison. 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975) and Local Rule 7(K). Moyler filed a response and a Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt. Nos. 12 & I 3. Accordingly, this motion is now ripe for disposition. For the reasons that follow, respondents Motion to Dismiss must be granted, and the petition must be dismissed with prejudice, as time-barred. Moyler's Motion for Summary Judgment will be denied.

I. Background

In the Circuit Court for the City of Norfolk, a jury convicted Moyler of first-degree murder and use of a firearm. The charges stemmed from the murder of Kaief Cooper, whom Moyler shot seven times after an argument outside a nightclub. Moyler v. Commonwealth. Record No. 1493-09-1, slip op. at 9-10 (Mar. 3, 2010). Moyler was sentenced to a life plus three years term of incarceration. The court entered its final judgment on June 23. 2009. Moyler filed a direct appeal in the Virginia Court of Appeals, which denied his petition for appeal on March 3, 2010. Moyler then appealed to the Supreme Court of Virginia, which denied his petition for appeal on November 18, 2010. Therefore, Moyler's convictions became final on February 18, 2011, the last date he could have petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States for a writ of certiorari.[1]

On November 22, 2011, [2] Moyler filed an application for a state writ of habeas in the Circuit Court for the City of Norfolk, which the court dismissed as untimely and, in the alternative, as not entitling petitioner to relief. Moyler v. Warden, Sussex I State Prison, R. No. CL11008342 (Va. Cir. Ct. Mar. 21, 2012). Moyler appealed to the Supreme Court of Virginia, which refused the petition for appeal on December 6, 2012. Moyler then turned to the federal forum and filed this application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on February 22, 2013, [3] raising the following claims:

1. Moyler was denied his right to a speedy trial in violation of the Sixth Amendment.
2A. Moyler's Due Process rights were violated when a suggestive identification procedure was used to have two eyewitnesses, Ronald Yancey and Tramel Kahill, identify him as the perpetrator.
2B.The Commonwealth violated Brady v. Maryland by failing to disclose whether Ronald Yancey and Tramel Kahill were given immunity from prosecution or other incentives to testify against Moyler.
2C. The Court erred when it required Moyler's alibi witness to testify in prisoner attire while the Commonwealth's jail house informant testified while wearing "civilian clothes."
2D. The Court erred when it admitted evidence that depicted Moyler as a drug dealer, while showing the jury a picture of the victim in his military apparel.
3. The evidence was insufficient to support Moyler's convictions.
4A. Moyler was denied effective assistance of counsel when trial counsel failed to object to the Commonwealth's jail house informant's testimony.
4B. The Court erred in admitting the testimony of Officer Stacey Shannon, who testified that Moyler ...

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