United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
Eruce Lee United States District Judge
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. This case concerns claims asserted by
petitioner, Willie Lee Casper III, a Virginia inmate
proceeding pro se. Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss with
a Brief in Support on August 16, 2016, and petitioner
responded on August 22, 2016. Dkt. Nos. 15, 17, 20. The issue
before the Court is whether the state habeas decisions are
entitled to deference. The Court concludes that nothing in
the state court record indicates that the state habeas court
decisions were either contrary to, or an unreasonable
application of, clearly established federal law, nor did
those decisions involve an unreasonable determination of the
facts, and therefore, respondent's Motion to Dismiss must
be granted and the petition will be dismissed, with
record reflects the following. Petitioner is detained
pursuant to a final judgment of the Circuit Court of the City
of Chesapeake, entered September 12, 2014. Motion to Dismiss
at Ex. 1. Pursuant to a plea agreement, petitioner pled
guilty to five counts of concealment in violation of Virginia
Code § 18.2-103, four counts of grand larceny with
intent to sell in violation of Virginia Code §
18.2-108.01, and one count of conspiracy to commit grand
larceny in violation of Virginia Code § 18.2-23(B).
Id. at Ex. 3. Petitioner was sentenced to forty
years imprisonment, with thirty-one years suspended.
Id. at Ex. 1. Petitioner did not file a direct
appeal of his convictions. Dkt. No. 1.
March 20, 2014, petitioner signed a Stipulation of Evidence.
Motion to Dismiss at Ex. 4. That same day, petitioner pled
guilty pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement and the
trial court conducted a plea colloquy, Id. at Ex. 5.
On June 27, 2014, the trial court granted petitioner's
original trial counsel's motion for leave to withdraw and
appointed Ms. Jo Anne Spencer to represent petitioner.
Id. at Ex. 6. The trial court also withheld ruling
on petitioner's pro se motion to withdraw his
pleas of guilty. Id. On August 25, 2014, petitioner
withdrew his motion to withdraw his pleas of guilty and he
was sentenced by the trial court. Id. at Ex. 7.
Petitioner later learned that Spencer was employed by the
trial judge from 1999 to 2001 when the trial judge was in
private practice. Id. at Ex. 9.
filed a timely petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the
Supreme Court of Virginia on June 17, 2015. Id. at
Ex. 8. The Supreme Court of Virginia dismissed the habeas
petition by order dated January 8, 2016. Id.
January 27, 2016, petitioner filed the instant federal
petition, wherein he challenges his conviction by alleging:
1. Violation of petitioner's right to counsel of choice.
2. Potential conflict of interest.
3. Ineffective assistance of counsel.
4. Denial of petitioner's Due Process rights.
5. Violation of petitioner's Sixth Amendment rights.
See Dkt. No. 1.