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Roberts v. Medeiros

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

April 24, 2015

DONNELL LEROY ROBERTS, Petitioner,
v.
SEAN MEDEIROS, Respondent.

ORDER ON RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (DOC. NO. 24) AND OTHER PENDING MOTIONS (DOC. NOS. 30, 45)

LEO T. SOROKIN, District Judge.

Petitioner Donnell Leroy Roberts, a prisoner at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Norfolk, Massachusetts, has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254. Roberts filed his federal claims two decades after the conviction and sentence he wishes to challenge became final. For the following reasons, his petition is DISMISSED as untimely.

I. BACKGROUND

On June 29, 1994, after a jury trial had begun on a first-degree murder charge, Roberts entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder and received a life sentence. See Doc. No. 26-1 at 14 (Suffolk Superior Court Case Summary Criminal Docket). The charges arose from the fatal beating of Dennis Anderson in June 1993. Doc. No. 1-1 at 5; see Doc. No. 26-1 at 27. During the twenty years following his conviction, Roberts made no effort to withdraw his plea, pursue a direct appeal, or otherwise challenge his conviction or sentence. Doc. No. 1 at 3; Doc. No. 26-1 at 14-18.

Then, in mid-2014, Roberts petitioned the Suffolk Superior Court for a writ of habeas corpus under state law.[1] Doc. No. 1 at 3; Doc. No. 26-1 at 16-18. The Superior Court dismissed Roberts's petition on September 29, 2014, Doc. No. 26-1 at 18, and Roberts did not appeal.[2] His undated federal habeas petition was docketed in this Court on September 29, 2014.[3] In his petition, Roberts asserts challenges to the trial court's jurisdiction based on an alleged violation of his constitutional right to a speedy trial, an alleged defect in the seal affixed on the indictment charging Roberts with murder, an alleged defect in the statement of the elements of first-degree murder contained in the indictment, and the alleged concealment of such facts from Roberts by counsel and the trial court at the time of his trial and plea. Doc. No. 1 at 2-3.

Since the filing of his federal petition, Roberts has submitted additional motions seeking an evidentiary hearing, Doc. No. 16, an order striking "all belated pleadings" by the respondent, Doc. No. 30, and an order to "enforce habeas corpus release and to nullify [his] state conviction, " Doc. No. 45. The respondent has moved to dismiss Roberts's petition, arguing it is untimely and contains claims that are unexhausted. Doc. No. 24, 31-1.

Because Roberts missed the deadline for filing his federal claims by approximately seventeen years, the Court need not reach the question of exhaustion or the merits of Roberts's claims. His additional motions are meritless.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Motion to Dismiss

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") imposes a one-year period of limitation on applications for writs of habeas corpus, and provides that such period "shall run 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 for seeking such review;
(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application created by State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was prevented from filing by such State action;
(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through ...

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