United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Hollander United States District Judge.
Martez Mouzone, who is self-represented, is an inmate
confined at the North Branch Correctional Institution in
Cumberland, Maryland. He filed a Petition for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus (“Petition, ” ECF 1), seeking to
attack his 2008 Maryland convictions for first degree felony
murder, armed robbery, and related offenses. Id. He
was sentenced to life imprisonment, with parole, for murder
and he received concurrent sentences for other offenses.
their response (ECF 4), respondents argue that the petition
is time-barred under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”). ECF 4. Mouzone
argues that his claim is not time barred because he did not
learn of habeas corpus until 2016, had never heard of AEDPA,
and otherwise did not know about other remedies beyond those
available in state court. ECF 6. He also indicates that his
attorney did not advise him of AEDPA and other available
remedies. Id. at 1-2.
reviewing the submissions, I find no need for an evidentiary
hearing. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section
2254 Cases in the United States District Courts; see
also 28 U.S.C. §22-154(e)(2). For the reasons set
forth herein, the Petition is DENIED and DISMISSED.
November of 2007, after a jury trial in the Circuit Court for
Baltimore County, Mouzone and his co-defendant, Michael
Banks, were convicted of first degree felony murder,
conspiracy, and related offenses. ECF 4-1; ECF 4-2; ECF 4-3.
Mouzone was sentenced on March 6, 2008, to life imprisonment,
with parole. Id. He noted a timely appeal and on May
21, 2010, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
affirmed Mouzone's conviction. ECF 4-3 at 2-14. The
court's Mandate issued on June 21, 2010. Id. at
1. Mouzone's judgment of conviction became final for
direct appeal purposes on July 6, 2010. See Md. Rule
8-302 (requiring petition for writ of certiorari to be filed
no later than 15 days after the Court of Special Appeals
issues its mandate). Mouzone did not file a petition for writ
of certiorari to the Maryland Court of Appeals. ECF 4-1 at 3.
filed a counselled motion for modification or reduction of
sentence on June 3, 2008, which was denied on July 9, 2008.
ECF 4-1 at 5; ECF 4-2 at 14. He filed a pro se motion for
modification on August 6, 2010, which was denied on August
23, 2010. ECF 4-1 at 5; ECF 4-2 at 14.
November 4, 2011, Mouzone filed an application for
post-conviction relief in the circuit court. ECF 4-2 at 14.
On October 17, 2014, the circuit court denied Mouzone
post-conviction relief. Id. Mouzone's
application for leave to appeal the denial of post-conviction
relief was denied by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on
November 5, 2015. ECF 4-4 at 1. The court's mandate
issued on December 9, 2015. Id. at 3.
filed the instant petition on December 10,
2016. ECF 1. He alleges that his trial counsel
was ineffective in: (1) failing to properly litigate the
motions to suppress; (2) failing to properly conduct pretrial
investigations; (3) allowing Mouzone to become a witness
against himself; (4) failing to argue with specificity for a
judgment of acquittal; (5) failing to raise the issue of the
inconsistency of the verdicts in a motion for new trial; (6)
failing to move to set aside the felony murder conviction;
and (7) that the cumulative effect of trial counsel's
errors deprived him of a fair trial. Id. at 4, 7, 9,
11, 12, 14.
January 20, 2017, pursuant to the court's Order,
respondents filed a limited answer, arguing that the petition
is time-barred and should be dismissed on that basis. ECF 4.
The court issued an Order on February 1, 2017, granting
Mouzone twenty-eight days from that date to file a response
addressing the timeliness issue. ECF 5. Mouzone's
response was received on February 14, 2017. ECF 6.
threshold issue in this case is the timeliness of the
Petition. Only if the Petition is timely may the court reach
the merits of Mouzone's claims.
one-year statute of limitations applies to habeas petitions
in cases for persons convicted in state court. See
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1); Wall v. Kholi, 562 U.S.
545, 550 (2011). Section 2244(d)(1) provides:
A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application
for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant
to the judgment of a State court. The limitation ...