United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Russell, III United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Petitioner Robert Lester
Tielleman's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (ECF No.
1) filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (2018). No. hearing is
necessary for the disposition of the Petition. See
Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the
United States District Courts; Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md.
2018); see also Fisher v. Lee, 215 F.3d 438, 455
(4th Cir. 2000) (stating that a petitioner is not entitled to
a hearing under 28 U.S.C. §2254(e)(2)). For the reasons
that follow, the Court will dismiss the Petition as untimely
and decline to issue a certificate of appealability.
January 28, 2013, a jury in the Circuit Court for Caroline
County, Maryland found Tielleman guilty of two counts of
attempted kidnapping, two counts of first-degree assault,
reckless endangerment, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
(Resp'ts' Resp. Ex. 1 at 11-13, ECF No. 5-1). On
April 10, 2013, Tielleman was sentenced to serve an
aggregated term of eighty years. (Id. at 11, 13-15).
On April 19, 2013, Tielleman filed a notice of appeal and
elected for an en banc review. (Id. at 15, 17). On
October 11, 2013, a three-judge panel reviewed
Tielleman's sentence, which resulted in a reduction of
his overall sentence to sixty years. (Id. at 17-21).
21, 2014, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed
Tielleman's conviction. (Resp'ts' Resp. Ex. 2 at
6, ECF No. 5-2). The appellate court concluded that
Tielleman's claim that the evidence was not legally
sufficient to support a conviction for charges of being a
felon in possession of a firearm was not preserved for its
review, (id. at 2-4), and that the State did not
withhold Brady evidence when it failed to disclose
that a witness for the State had been convicted of stalking,
a misdemeanor offense under Maryland law, (id. at
Court of Appeals denied Tielleman's petition for writ of
certiorari on August 28, 2014. (Id. at 8). The time
for Tielleman to seek certiorari review from the United
States Supreme Court expired on November 26, 2014, ninety
days after the date of the Court of Appeals' decision.
See Sup.Ct.R. 13.1.
time he filed his Petition in this Court, Tielleman had not
filed a petition for post-conviction relief with the Circuit
Court. Instead, he filed a motion to correct illegal sentence
on June 10, 2015, which was denied on June 25, 2015;
Tielleman did not file a timely notice of appeal for the
denial of this motion. (Resp'ts' Resp. Ex. 1 at 21-22).
October 17, 2016, Tiellman filed his Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus. (ECF No. 1). In his Petition, Tielleman
asserts two grounds for federal habeas relief: (1) the
Circuit Court erred in adding an element to the offense of
attempted kidnapping and in denying a merger as to the two
counts, (Pet. Writ Habeas Corpus [“Pet.”] at 5-6,
ECF No. 1); and (2) the Circuit Court erred when it
failed to apply the “rule of lenity” which was
required because Maryland's kidnapping statute does not
indicate “whether the Maryland General Assembly
intended that a defendant be twice punished for two offenses
stemming from a single transaction of kidnapping, ”
(id. at 6). As relief, Tielleman seeks vacatur of
the two consecutive thirty-year sentences and imposition of
concurrent thirty-year sentences. (Id. at 7).
February 23, 2017, Respondents filed a Limited Answer to
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Order to Show Cause.
(ECF No. 5). In their Answer, Respondents assert that
Tiellman's Petition must be dismissed because it is
untimely and raises no basis for equitable tolling of the
limitations period. On March 13, 2017, the Court entered an
Order granting Tiellman twenty-eight days to file a Reply
addressing why his Petition is not time-barred. (Mar. 13,
2017 Order at 1-2, ECF No. 7). Tiellman filed his
Court-ordered Reply on April 3, 2017. (ECF No. 8).
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
one-year statute of limitations applies to habeas petitions
in non-capital cases for a person convicted in a state court.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). This section provides:
(1) 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 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
(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