United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
DENNY C. MELTON, Petitioner,
HAROLD W. CLARKE, Respondent.
Michael F. Urbanski Chief United States District Judge
C. Melton, 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 judgment by the Halifax County Circuit
Court. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss Melton's
§ 2254 petition, and Melton failed to respond, making
the matter ripe for disposition. After review of the record,
the court concludes that Melton's petition is time-barred
and successive, requiring the motion to dismiss to be
11, 1999, a jury convicted Melton of first-degree murder and
use of a firearm in the commission of murder. The Halifax
County Circuit Court sentenced Melton to 102 years in prison.
counsel, Melton appealed to the Virginia Court of Appeals,
but the court dismissed his petitions on February 3, 2000 and
April 26, 2000. Melton appealed again, but the Supreme Court
of Virginia refused his petition on August 17, 2000, and
denied his petition for rehearing on September 15, 2000.
Melton did not appeal to the Supreme Court of the United
States; therefore, his conviction became final on December
15, 2000. Sup. Ct. R. 13 (Petition for a writ of certiorari
is timely when filed with ninety days after entry of an order
denying discretionary review.).
21, 2002, Melton filed a § 2254 petition for a writ of
habeas corpus. On February 28, 2003, the court dismissed
the petition as untimely. Melton v. Young, No.
7:02CV00759 (W.D. Va. Feb. 28, 2003). The district court
later dismissed a motion for reconsideration, and the Fourth
Circuit Court of Appeals denied Melton's appeal.
decade later, Melton filed a state habeas petition on August
5, 2015 in the Halifax County Circuit Court. The circuit
court dismissed the petition as untimely on August 10, 2016,
and Melton did not appeal.
September 23, 2016, Melton filed the current petition,
alleging three claims of court error, all of which he
presented to the Supreme Court of Virginia on direct appeal:
trial court erred by refusing to grant the defense motion to
strike as there was insufficient evidence to convict the
defendant of murder and use of a firearm during a murder;
trial court erred by failing to grant a mistrial when a
witness indicated the defendant said he wanted to kill three
other people; and
trial court erred by failing to grant a mistrial where a
witness testified that the defendant was in jail on a charge
of possession of a firearm after being a convicted felon.
the Anti-terrorism Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), a
one-year period of limitation for federal habeas corpus runs
from the latest of:
(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the
conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time ...