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Wilson v. Miller

United States District Court, D. Maryland

April 17, 2018

DAMION A. WILSON Petitioner
v.
WARDEN RICHARD MILLER and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND Respondents

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          PAULA XINIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         In response to the above-entitled Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Respondents assert the petition should be dismissed as untimely. ECF No. 5. Petitioner was granted 28 days to file a Reply explaining why the petition should not be considered untimely. ECF No. 6. Petitioner so replied and the matter is now ripe for this Court's consideration. No. hearing is necessary to resolve the matters pending. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts and Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016); see also Fisher v. Lee, 215 F.3d 438, 455 (4th Cir. 2000) (petitioner not entitled to a hearing under 28 U.S.C. §2254(e)(2)). For the reasons that follow, Respondents will be required to provide additional materials for the Court's consideration.

         I. Background

         On September 21, 2000, Petitioner Damion Wilson entered an Alford [1] plea to one count of second-degree murder in the Circuit Court for Charles County, Maryland. ECF No. 5 at Ex. 1, p. 18 (docket entry 70000; withdrawing not guilty plea and plea of not criminally responsible; entering Alford plea). Wilson was sentenced on December 8, 2000 to 30 years' imprisonment running from February 7, 2000. Id. at p. 19. Wilson did not appeal these proceedings, and the time for filing such an appeal expired on January 8, 2001. See Md. Rule 8-204 (application for leave to appeal must be filed within 30 days after entry of judgment or order challenged).

         On April 17, 2003, Wilson moved for reconsideration of his 30-year imprisonment sentence. ECF No. 5 at Ex. 1, p. 20 (docket entry 91000). The motion was denied on June 2, 2003. Id. (docket entry 93000).

         On February 26, 2004, Wilson filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the Circuit Court for Charles County which was withdrawn without prejudice on October 21, 2004. ECF No. 5 at Ex. 1, pp. 21-22 (docket entries 95000 & 112000). On March 2, 2006, Wilson filed another petition for post-conviction relief which was withdrawn without prejudice on December 15, 2006. ECF No. 5 at Ex. 1, pp. 23 & 24 (docket entries 121000 & 135000). Wilson's third petition for post-conviction relief was filed on March 30, 2009. ECF No. 5 at Ex. 1, p. 25 (docket entry 146000). Post-conviction hearings were held on October 18, 2013 and April 2, 2014. Id. at pp. 35 & 38 (docket entries 248000 & 286000). On July 14, 2014, the Circuit Court granted limited relief to Wilson, vacating the restitution order of $8, 795, but otherwise denied relief. Id. at p. 40 (docket entry 298000).

         On August 4, 2014, Wilson appealed the denial of post-conviction relief to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals by application for leave to appeal. ECF NO. 5 at Ex. 1, p. 40 (docket entry 302000). The application for leave to appeal was denied on August 21, 2015, with the mandate issuing on November 2, 2015. Id. at p. 41 (docket entry 311000). Wilson's motion for reconsideration filed on September 4, 2015, was denied on October 30, 2015. Id.

         On March 21, 2013, while Wilson's post-conviction petition was pending with the Circuit Court for Charles County, he filed a petition for writ of actual innocence. ECF No. 5 at Ex. 1, p. 29 (docket entry 196000). The petition was supplemented on August 1, 2012. Id. at p. 30 (docket entry 206000). It is unclear from the docket entries submitted to this Court whether the Charles County Circuit Court ruled on Wilson's petition for writ of actual innocence.

         Wilson then filed this Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus on November 8, 2016. ECF NO. 1. In it, Wilson acknowledges that he seeks relief well beyond the date that his conviction became final but requests that this Court reach the merits of his claim because he asserts actual innocence and submits newly discovered evidence exists which supports his claim of actual innocence. ECF NO. 1 at p. 8. Specifically, the newly discovered evidence is:

1. A torn photograph of the black male identified as being present in the residence of the victim at the time of the shooting during an interview of Alura Brown (who was three-years old) by Officer Daniel Gimler. Wilson states he obtained the photograph through a Public Information Act request in 2010. ECF No. 1 at p. 8.
2. Post-conviction testimony by Bernard Cole, Jr. during the 2013 post-conviction hearing indicating that Cole did not identify Wilson as the person he saw in front of the victim's home. ECF No. 1 at pp. 8 - 9.
3. Post-conviction testimony of Jacqueline Stancliff where she testified that:
a. She could not identify the person she saw running on the sidewalk, which if true, contradicts Wilson's Alford plea stipulation stating that Stancliff identified the person running as a teenager. ECF No. 1 at p. 9.
b. She told the responding officer that “she heard the gunshot come from a place mid and high on her living room wall” which connected with the wall to the victim's ...

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