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Owens v. Ray

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

November 21, 2016

WILLIAM A. OWENS, Petitioner,
v.
TRACY RAY, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Roderick C. Young United States Magistrate Judge.

         William A. Owens, 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 Suffolk, Virginia ("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. Owens has not filed a response to the Motion to Dismiss. Instead, Owens filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 14), Motion for Discovery (ECF No. 15), Motion to Amend Summary Judgment (ECF No. 17), and Motion for Review (ECF No. 24). For the reasons set forth below, Respondent's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 9) will be GRANTED, and Owens's Motions (ECF Nos. 14, 15, 17, 24) will be DENIED.

         I. PERTINENT PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Following a bench trial held on December 16, 2011, Owens was convicted of three counts of obtaining prescription drugs by fraud and three counts of conspiracy to commit prescription fraud.[1] On May 3, 2012, Owens pled guilty in the Circuit Court to two counts of obtaining money by false pretenses, one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, one count of uttering, three counts of larceny with intent to sell or distribute, one count of credit card theft, and one count of petit larceny. (See Plea Agreement ¶ 2, ECF No. 10-1, at 20-23.) Owens also agreed "that he [was] in violation of the terms of his probation under indictment CR08000379."[2] Id. On July 9, 2012, in a combined proceeding, the Circuit Court entered final judgment with respect to his many convictions and sentenced him to an active sentence of seven years. See Commonwealth v. Owens, No. CR12000479, at 2 (Va. Cir. Ct. July 9, 2012); Letter at 1, Commonwealth v. Owens, No. CR12000479 (Va. Cir. Ct. filed Nov. 13, 2012); see also June 27, 2012 Tr. 51-54.). Owens did not appeal.

         On November 13, 2012, counsel for Owens filed a letter requesting that the Circuit Court place the matter back on the docket for reconsideration of Owens's sentences. Letter at 1, Commonwealth v. Owens, No. CR12000479 (Va. Cir. Ct. filed Nov. 13, 2012).[3] On January 16, 2013, the Circuit Court denied Owens's motion for reconsideration.[4] Owens did not appeal.

         On July 7, 2014, Owens, by counsel, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Circuit Court. Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus at 1, Owens v. Ray, No. CL14-507 (Va. Cir. Ct. filed July 7, 2014). On December 17, 2014, the Circuit Court denied and dismissed Owens's petition. (ECF No. 10-2, at 1-4.) On December 28, 2015, the Supreme Court of Virginia refused Owens's petition for appeal. (ECF No. 10-4, at 1.)

         On March 19, 2015, Owens filed a petition for a writ of error coram nobis in the Circuit Court. (ECF No. 10-5, at 1.) On July 2, 2015, the Circuit Court denied Owens's petition. (ECF No. 10-6, at 1-2.) On February 2, 2016, the Supreme Court of Virginia dismissed Owens's petition for appeal because it was not timely filed. (ECF No. 10-8, at 1.)

         On or about February 17, 2016, Owens filed his § 2254 Petition in this Court.[5] (§ 2254 Pet. 15.)[6] In his § 2254 Petition, Owens asserts the following claims for relief:

Claim One: Trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel by:
(a) failing to move for "an evaluation to determine whether Petitioner was insane at the time of the offense" (id. App. B at 1, ECF No. 1-3);
(b) "fail[ing] to perform a reasonable investigation regarding the defense of insanity" (id.);
(c) "fail[in]g to file and argue a Motion to Suppress Petitioner's confession" (id. at 2);
(d) "requesting] only a competency evaluation regarding the Petitioner's mental condition after having negotiated a plea agreement without the benefit of a reasonable investigation regarding the insanity of the Petitioner at the time of the offense" (id.);
(e) "fail[ing] to adequately argue on behalf of the Petitioner in sentencing without having investigated the connection between the Petitioner's sanity at the time of the offenses for purposes of mitigation" (id); and,
(f) "fail[ing] to note the appeal for the Petitioner prior to withdrawing from his representation, causing Petitioner to lose any opportunity to have a direct appeal relating ...

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