United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
Roderick C. Young United States Magistrate Judge.
Demerick Bugg, a Virginia state prisoner proceeding pro
se, brings this petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254 ("§ 2254 Petition, " ECF No. 1)
challenging his convictions in the Circuit Court for the
County of Mecklenburg, Virginia ("Circuit Court").
Bugg demands relief upon the following grounds:
Claim One Counsel "failed to file a proper motion
notifying the trial court of an alibi defense or seek a
continuance to cure the defect, thus denying the petitioner
his right to present this defense." (§ 2254 Pet.
Claim Two Counsel "failed to investigate and subpoena
witnesses provided by petitioner (Patrick Seward and Jami
Snead) to impeach alleged victim complaint."
(Id. at 7.)
Claim Three "Counsel failed to investigate evidence
provided by petitioner proving that he could not have
committed the alleged crimes." (Id. at 8.)
has moved to dismiss. As Bugg's claims are utterly
lacking in merit, the Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 22) will be
a bench trial, the Circuit Court convicted Bugg of four
counts of carnal knowledge of a child thirteen years or
older, but younger than fifteen years of age and one count of
forcible sodomy. (June 12, 2012 Tr. 7-12, 98.) The Circuit
Court sentenced Bugg to an active twenty-year term of
imprisonment. (Sept. 12, 2012 Tr. 16.) Bugg unsuccessfully
appealed. The Court of Appeals of Virginia aptly summarized
the evidence of Bugg's guilt as follows:
[T]he evidence proved that in March 2010 when the victim was
thirteen years old, she met appellant. Later that day,
appellant came to the victim's residence and the two
engaged in consensual sexual intercourse. The victim further
testified that she had intercourse with appellant on another
occasion in March and twice in May 2010.
The victim testified that on the first occasion, she and
appellant "had sex." She explained by
'"sex"' she meant "vaginal
intercourse" and confirmed appellant's penis
penetrated her vagina. In describing the three subsequent
incidents, the victim testified again that she and appellant
"had sex" and confirmed she meant "vaginal
On April 8, 2011, appellant picked up the victim and drove to
his residence. The victim explained the two remained in the
car. She testified appellant "wanted [her] to have oral
sex with him." When she refused, appellant grabbed her
by the hair and pulled her down to his exposed penis. The
victim resisted, but appellant "told [her] ... that
[she] was going to do it anyway." While appellant pushed
her head down, she "just did it." She confirmed she
"perform[ed] oral sex on him" until he ejaculated.
Bugg v. Commonwealth, No. 1844-12-2, at 3 (Va. Ct.
App. Sept. 6, 2013).
September 16, 2015, Bugg filed a state petition for a writ of
habeas corpus with the Supreme Court of Virginia wherein he
raised a more fulsome version of Claims One through Three.
(ECF No. 14-1, at 17-18.) On April 18, 2016, the Supreme
Court of Virginia dismissed the state petition for a writ of
habeas corpus. (ECF No. 28-1, at 1-3.)
APPLICABLE CONSTRAINTS UPON FEDERAL HABEAS CORPUS REVIEW
order to obtain federal habeas relief, at a minimum, a
petitioner must demonstrate that he is "in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). The
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
("AEDPA") of 1996 further circumscribed this
Court's authority to grant relief by way of a writ of
habeas corpus. Specifically, "[s]tate court factual
determinations are presumed to be correct and may be rebutted
only by clear and convincing evidence." Gray v.
Blanker, 529 F.3d 220, 228 (4th Cir. 2008) (citing 28
U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1)). Additionally, under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(d), a federal court may not grant a writ of
habeas corpus based on any claim that was adjudicated on the
merits in state court unless the adjudicated claim:
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved
an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal
law, as determined by the ...