United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
Roderick C. Young United States Magistrate Judge
Eshtu Legesse, a Virginia state prisoner proceeding pro
se, brings this petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254 (hereinafter, "§ 2254 Petition, " ECF No.
1) challenging his convictions in the Circuit Court for the
City of Alexandria ("Circuit Court"). Respondent
moves to dismiss on the ground that, inter alia, the
one-year statute of limitations governing federal habeas
petitions bars the § 2254 Petition. Legesse has not
responded. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to
Dismiss (ECF No. 13) will be GRANTED.
PERTINENT PROCEDURAL HISTORY
pled guilty in the Circuit Court to malicious wounding by
mob, trespass with the intent to interfere with the rights of
a property owner, and assault and battery by mob, and was
sentenced to an active sentence of eight years.
Commonwealth v. Legesse, No. CF13000087, at 1-2 (Va.
Cir. Ct. Aug. 2, 2013). On September 10, 2013, the Circuit
Court entered final judgment. Commonwealth v.
Legesse, No. CF 13000087, at 1 (Va. Cir. Ct. Sept. 10,
2013). Legesse did not appeal.
September 2, 2014, Legesse filed a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus with the Supreme Court of Virginia. Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus at 1, Legesse v. Clarke,
No. 141310 (Va. filed Sept. 2, 2014). On March 17, 2015, the
Supreme Court of Virginia granted Respondent's motion to
dismiss and dismissed Legesse's petition. See Legesse
v. Clarke, No. 141310, at 1, 4 (Va. Mar. 17, 2015).
about October 8, 2015, Legesse filed his § 2254 Petition
with the Western District of Virginia. (§ 2254 Pet.
15.) By Order entered on October 30, 2015, the Western
District of Virginia transferred Legesse's § 2254
Petition to this Court. (ECF No. 2, at 2.) In his § 2254
Petition, Legesse asserts the following claims for relief:
Claim One "Ineffective Assistance of Counsel-Petitioner
was denied conflict-free assistance of counsel at all stages
of the criminal proceedings, to his substantive prejudice, in
violation of his rights as guaranteed under the Sixth and
Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and
under §§ 8 and 11 of Article 1 of the Virginia
Constitution. Petitioner's Attorney, Ms. Marina Medvin,
promised him that he would receive no more than three (3)
years if he accepted the Commonwealth's plea offer.
Petitioner was sentenced to eight (8) years instead."
(§ 2254 Pet. 6.)
Claim Two "Ineffective Assistance of Counsel-Petitioner
re-alleges as is fully set out in ground One that he was
denied conflict-free assistance of counsel. Petitioner's
attorney, Ms. Medvin, failed to motion for discovery to
ascertain the government's evidence prior to negotiating
a plea." (Id. at 7 (spelling corrected).)
Claim Three "Ineffective Assistance of
Counsel-Petitioner states as is fully set out in Grounds one
and two that he was denied conflict-free assistance of
counsel at every critical stage of the proceeding.
Petitioner's attorney, Ms. Marian Medvin, coerced
petitioner into accepting a plea deal that resulted in his
receiving more than the three (3) years which she herself
assured him he would receive." (Id. at 9
Claim Four "Prosecutorial Misconduct-The prosecutor in
this case withheld evidence concerning the fact that the
witness was not available to testify. This evidence was not
made available to petitioner until after he had accepted the
commonwealth's plea offer. Petitioner would not have pled
guilty had he been aware that there was no witness to testify
against him." (Id. at 11 (spelling corrected).)
Statute of Limitations
contends that the federal statute of limitations bars
Legesse's claims. Section 101 of the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA") amended 28
U.S.C. § 2244 to establish a one-year period of
limitation for the filing of a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a
state court. Specifically, 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) now
1. A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an
application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in
custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The