United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW United States District Judge
Joseph Tetso, an inmate confined at the Maryland Correctional
Training Center in Hagerstown, Maryland, seeks to attack his
2010 convictions for second degree murder. ECF Nos. 1, 4. In
a limited answer, Respondents argue that the petition is
time-barred under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act ("AEDP A"). ECF No. 10. Tetso has
responded. ECF No. 12. After reviewing these papers, the
court finds 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.
§2254(e)(2). For reasons set forth herein, the Petition
will be denied and dismissed.
October of 2010, after a jury trial in the Circuit Court for
Baltimore County, Tetso was convicted of second degree
murder. ECF No. 10-1; see Tetso v. State, 205
Md.App. 334 (2012). Tetso was sentenced on November 23, 2010,
to a thirty year term of confinement, with all but eighteen
years suspended, followed by five years' supervised
probation. Tetso, 205 Md.App. at 240. He noted a
timely appeal, and on June 4, 2012, the Court of Special
Appeals of Maryland affirmed his conviction. The court's
mandate issued on July 5, 2012. ECF No. 10-1, p. 14. Tetso
filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of
Appeals of Maryland, which was denied on September 24, 2012.
Tetso v. State, 428 Md. 545 (2012) (table).
Therefore, Tetso's convictions became final on December
23, 2012. See Harris v. Hutchinson, 209 F.3d 325,
328 & n. 1 (4th Cir. 2000)(noting that time for appealing
state court conviction concludes when time for filing
petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court, 90
days, expires); see also Sup. Ct. Rule 13.1
(certiorari petition is to be filed within 90 days of the
date of the challenged judgment).
filed several post-trial motions including a motion for new
trial, multiple motions to revise sentencing credit, multiple
motions for reconsideration of sentence pursuant to Maryland
Rule 4-345(e), and a motion to correct an illegal sentence
under Maryland Rule 4-345(a). ECF No. 10-1, pp. 12-15. Each
motion was denied. Id. The last motion was resolved
against Tetso in an unreported opinion issued by the Maryland
Court of Special Appeals on December 23, 2013. Id.,
p. 15. The Court's mandate issued on January 22, 2014.
Id. Thereafter, on April 21, 2014, the Maryland
Court of Appeals refused Tetso's Petition for Writ of
Certiorari. Tetso v. State, 437 Md. 640 (23014)
(table). Tetso has filed nothing else in state court. ECF No.
10-1, pp. 15-16.
filed the instant petition on August 8, 2018. ECF No. 1. In the
Petition, as supplemented, Tetso contends that: (1) since the
victim's body was not found, the State's evidence of
criminal mens rea was insufficient to justify his
conviction (ECF No. 4, pp. 3-8); (2) the State obtained
evidence illegally (ECF No. 4, p. 3, 9-12); (3) his sentence
is illegal because the sentencing court refused to award
credit for time served on house arrest; (ECF No. 4, p. 3
13-15); and (4) ineffective assistance of trial counsel (ECF
No. 1, p. 2-3).
December 21, 2018, 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 No.
10. The court issued an Order on December 21, 2018, granting
Tetso twenty-eight days from that date to file a response
addressing the timeliness issue. ECF No. 11. Tetso's
response was received on January 7, 2019. ECF No. 12.
threshold issue in this case is the timeliness of the
petition. Only if the Petition is timely may the court reach
the merits of Tetso's claims.
petition for a writ of habeas corpus may be granted only for
violations of the Constitution or laws of the United States.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). However, a one-year statute of
limitations applies to habeas petitions in non-capital 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 that:
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 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