United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division
ALEXANDER S. JONES, #1115035 Petitioner,
HAROLD W. CLARKE, Director, Virginia Department of Corrections, Respondent.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
DOUGLAS E. MILLER, Magistrate Judge.
Alexander S. Jones is a Virginia inmate presently serving an
active sentence of eight years following his conviction in
the Circuit Court of Sussex County for distributing cocaine.
Jones's federal habeas petition asserts challenges to his
underlying distribution conviction, as well as other
convictions for resisting arrest and possession of marijuana
for which he has already completed his sentence.
Respondent moved to dismiss the petition, arguing that
Jones's claims are time-barred, procedurally defaulted,
and without merit. Jones was served with a copy of the
motion, notice of his right to respond, and the consequences
of failing to do so. (ECF No. 19). Jones did not respond, and
the time for responding has now expired. After reviewing the
petition, the undersigned concludes that Jones's claims
are either time-barred or procedurally defaulted, and he has
not made the requisite showing to overcome the defaults and
obtain federal review. Accordingly, this report recommends
that the court grant Respondent's motion (ECF No. 11),
and dismiss the petition.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
was convicted of resisting arrest and possession of marijuana
by the Circuit Court of Sussex County on May 9, 2012.
Sentencing Order, Commonwealth v. Jones, Nos. CR11-272 &
CR11-273 (Va. Cir. Ct. May 18, 2012) (ECF No. 1, at 54). He
appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeals of Virginia,
which denied the appeal in a written per curiam opinion.
Jones v. Commonwealth, No. 886-12-2 (Va. Ct. App. Dec. 13,
2012). He did not petition the Supreme Court of Virginia for
Jones was indicted and tried on charges of distribution of
cocaine, third offense. Following a jury trial on the cocaine
charges, he was convicted and sentenced to eight years in
prison. Sentencing Order, Commonwealth v. Jones, No. CR11-148
(Va. Cir. Ct. Apr. 4, 2012). The Court of Appeals of Virginia
denied his appeal on the charges, Jones v. Commonwealth, No.
0538-12-2 (Va. Ct. App. Sept. 13, 2012), and the Supreme
Court of Virginia refused his appeal, Jones v. Commonwealth,
No. 121710 (Va. Dec. 18, 2012).
one year later, on December 5, 2013, Jones signed his state
petition for habeas relief related to both trials which he
thereafter filed in the Circuit Court of Sussex County. State
Habeas Pet., Jones v. Virginia Dept. of Corr., No. CL14-102
(Va Cir. Ct. Dec. 5, 2013). The state petition sought relief
on six grounds:
1. Jones's sentence on the marijuana possession charge
was in excess of the maximum authorized by statute.
2. Jones's conviction on the distribution charge was
unconstitutional because the trial court should not have
admitted video evidence of the transaction underlying his
3. Jones's convictions for marijuana possession and
resisting arrest were unconstitutional because his arrest and
search violated the 4th Amendment.
4. The evidence was insufficient to support Jones's
5. Prosecutorial misconduct based on the alleged knowing use
of false testimony and suppression of exculpatory evidence.
6. Ineffective assistance of trial counsel in the examination
of witnesses and ...