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Steedley v. Clarke

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

July 10, 2014

Edward Steedley, Petitioner,
v.
Harold Clarke, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GERALD BRUCE LEE, District Judge.

This Matter comes before the Court on respondent's Motion to Dismiss this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, filed fro se by Edward Steedley, a Virginia inmate. Steedley challenges the constitutionality of his convictions of two counts of distribution of cocaine in the Circuit Court of the City of Williamsburg and James City County. After respondent moved to dismiss the petition, Steedley 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), and he has filed no reply. Accordingly, the matter is now ripe for disposition. After careful review, the petition will be dismissed with prejudice.

I. Background

On December 9, 2008, Steedley pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of cocaine. Case No. CR08016988-90-00; Tr. 3. On May 6, 2010, the Court sentenced Steedley to thirty (30) years in prison, with twenty (20) years and four (4) months suspended, and revoked a previously suspended sentence for Steedley's multiple firearms-related convictions. Case. Nos. CR0801698800, CR00801698900, CR09A1394601, 03-06; Tr. 18-20. Steedley pursued a direct appeal on the sole claim that the trial court abused its discretion when sentencing him, which the Court of Appeals of Virginia denied on November 18, 2010. R. Nos. 1154-10-1 and 1155-10-1. Steedley sought further review by the Supreme Court of Virginia, but his appeal was refused on May 19, 2011. R. Nos. 102403 and 102404.

On May 11, 2012, Steedley filed a petition for a state writ of habeas corpus in the Supreme Court of Virginia. On December 13, 2012, the court dismissed Steedley's petition and on March 7, 2013, denied Steedley's petition for a rehearing. Steedley timely filed the instant application for § 2254 relief on or about March 12, 2013, [1] reiterating the same claims he raised in his state habeas application, as follows:

1. The prosecutor engaged in misconduct by giving the trial court incorrectly calculated sentencing guidelines.
2. The prosecutor engaged in misconduct by referring to Steedley's unresolved case in another jurisdiction.
3. The trial court abused its discretion in sentencing Steedley to an active term of eight years and nine months.
4. The trial court erred in failing to give notice of a possible departure from the sentencing guidelines.
5. The trial court erred in denying Steedley's motion to appoint new counsel.
6. Plaintiff was denied effective assistance of counsel when the trial court denied his motion to appoint counsel.
7. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel.
(A) Counsel was ineffective for failing to consult with Steedley regarding what arguments to present in his appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia.
(B) Counsel was ineffective because his heavy caseload may have caused him to pursue a plea bargain in lieu of ...

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