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Lee v. Clarke

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

June 28, 2017

WILLIAM HENRY LEE, Petitioner,
v.
HAROLD CLARKE, DIRECTOR Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Hon. Glen E. Conrad Chief United States District Judge

         William Henry Lee, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging the validity of his confinement on a 2012 judgment by the Pittsylvania County Circuit Court. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss Lee's § 2254 petition, and this matter is ripe for disposition.[1] Upon review of the record, the court grants respondent's motion to dismiss the petition as untimely and procedurally defaulted.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         On June 4, 2012, the Pittsylvania County Circuit Court entered judgment convicting Lee of three counts of felony driving after being declared a habitual offender, second offense, driving under the influence, third offense in five years, and refusal to submit to testing for blood alcohol, second offense. On May 30, 2012, Lee was sentenced to fourteen years and six months of imprisonment with nine years suspended. (Case Nos. CR12000037, CR12000113, CR12000114, CR12000115, CR12000116.)

         On appeal, Lee challenged his convictions on the sufficiency of the evidence to the Court of Appeals of Virginia. The appellate court denied the appeal on December 6, 2012, (Order, Lee v. Commonwealth of Va.. Record No. 1063-12-3, (Va. Ct. App. Dec. 6, 2012), and Lee did not appeal further.

         On September 21, 2015, Lee filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Supreme Court of Virginia, asserting the following claims for relief:

1. Counsel failed to contact, interview or subpoena an alibi witness.
2. Counsel colluded with the Commonwealth's Attorney and trial judge.
3. The trial judge failed to be both impartial and disinterested.
4. Counsel illegally abandoned Lee on appeal.

         The petition was dismissed as untimely pursuant to Virginia Code § 8.01-54(A)(2), and the Supreme Court of Virginia denied rehearing on February 4, 2016. (Order, Lee v. Clarke. Dir. Dep't.of Corr. of Va., Record No. 151441, (Va. Dec. 2, 2015)).

         On September 2, 2016, Lee filed the instant § 2254 petition. Lee's grounds for filing this petition are as follows:

Claim 1: Counsel failed to investigate and subpoena key alibi witness to ...

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