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Stubbs v. Wolfe

United States District Court, D. Maryland

January 2, 2020

ANDRE STUBBS, Petitioner,
v.
JOHN S. WOLFE, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          THEODORE D. CHUANG, United States District Judge

         Petitioner Andre Stubbs, an inmate at the Dorsey Run Correctional Facility in Jessup, Maryland, has filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. S 2254. Stubbs, who is self-represented, challenges his 2005 sentences in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland for vehicular manslaughter and robbery. The Petition is fully briefed. Upon review of the submitted materials, the Court finds a hearing unnecessary. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts; p. Md. Local R. 105.6. For the reasons set forth below, the Petition will be DISMISSED.

         BACKGROUND

         I. Federal and State Sentences

         On January 5, 2004, Stubbs pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland to a federal charge of bank robbery. The Court (Quarles, J.) sentenced Stubbs to a term of 188 months of imprisonment for the offense and recommended that the sentence run concurrenlly with a two-year sentence, with one year and four months suspended, for second-degree assault imposed by the District Court for Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

         One year later, on January 4, 2005, Stubbs pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City ("Circuit Court") to vehicular manslaughter, Case No. 104121005, and an unrelated robbery offense, Case No. 204058006. On the same day, Stubbs was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment on the vehicular manslaughter conviction and 12 years on the robbery conviction, with these sentences to run concurrently with each other, but to run consecutively to "the bank robbery conviction in Federal Court under Case No. WDQ0303050 in which [Stubbs] is serving a 188 month sentence." Guilty Plea Hrg. Tr. at 30-31, Ans. Ex. 2, ECF No. 4-2. The Circuit Court summarized the sentences as follows: "The total sentence is 12 years consecutive to the time he is now doing in Federal Court for bank robbery which totals 188 months." Id. at 31. Stubbs did not seek leave to appeal his January 4, 2005 state convictions.

         After sentencing, the Circuit Court issued a commitment record, dated January 4, 2005, stating that the vehicular manslaughter and robbery sentences were to be served consecutive to "the last sentence to expire of all outstanding and unserved Maryland sentences." Commitment Record at 1, Pet. Ex. G-1, ECF No. 1-7. The next day, on January 5, 2005, a revised commitment record, referred to as a sentencing modification superseding the January 4 commitment record, was issued stating that the sentences were to run consecutive to an unidentified Baltimore County sentence. On July 13, 2007, the Circuit Court issued another commitment record, which superseded the previous ones, stating that the state sentences for vehicular manslaughter and robbery were to run "consecutive to the sentence imposed in "Federal Case #[W]DQ0303050." Commitment Records at 3, Pet. Ex. G-3, ECF No. 1-7.

         II. Federal Habeas Petitions

         Stubbs has filed three other habeas petitions in this Court, two of which provide additional context about the claims presently under review. See Anderson v. Fed. Deposit Ins. Corp., 918 F.2d 1139, 1141 n.1 (4th Cir. 1990) (stating that a court may take judicial notice of its own records). On June 3, 2009, Stubbs filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging his federal bank robbery and state vehicular manslaughter and robbery sentences as violations of his rights under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, 18 U.S.C. App. 2, and seeking his immediate release. Stubbs v. Maryland, WDQ-09-1461 (D. Md. 201.0). Stubbs argued that because, after the imposition of his state sentence, he was never sent to a federal prison, but was instead left in state custody, his federal sentence was no longer valid. On May 19, 2010, the petition was dismissed without prejudice for failure to exhaust state remedies.

         On July 28, 2010, Stubbs filed a federal habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Stubbs v. United States, No. WDQ-10-2089 (D. Md. 2011). In that petition, Stubbs requested, among other relief, that the court order his federal and state sentences to run concurrently because, he claimed, the state judge had intended for the state sentences to be served concurrently with the federal sentence. On August 31, 2011, the petition was denied. The court noted that the Bureau of Prisons had designated Stubbs to serve his federal sentence in a Maryland facility, that Stubbs had already received credit toward his federal sentence dating back to January 5, 2004, and that therefore his federal sentence had been properly computed and credited. To the extent that Stubbs claimed that his state sentences must run concurrently to the federal sentence, the court ruled that he needed to exhaust that claim by first presenting it to state authorities before asserting it in a federal habeas petition.

         III. Motion to Correct an Illegal Sentence

         Meanwhile, on May 11, 2010, Stubbs filed a Motion to Correct an Illegal Sentence, asserting that he should have been given credit against his state sentence for the time he served toward his federal sentence and that the July 13, 2007 commitment record issued by the Circuit Court illegally increased his sentence. The Circuit Court denied the Motion on June 17, 2010. Stubbs appealed to the Court of Special Appeals, presenting the question whether the Circuit Court had imposed an illegal sentence by issuing a commitment order that effectively. increased the length of his sentence without affording him notice and opportunity to be heard.

         On December 10, 2013, the Court of Special Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court's denial of Stubbs's Motion to Correct an Illegal Sentence. In so ruling, the court found that "the original commitment record was inconsistent with the sentence imposed by the court." App. Op. at 3, Ans. Ex. 3, ECF No. 4-3. Because the sentencing transcript controls over inconsistent docket entries and similar records, see Turner v. State,956 A.2d 820, 829 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2008), the court held that the July 13, 2007 commitment record "did nothing more than correct the previous erroneous commitment records," was not a modification of the sentence, and did not cause an increase in the length of Stubbs's sentences. App. Op. at 3-5. The mandate issued on January 9, 2014. Stubbs sought no further review. Stubbs filed this Petition for federal habeas ...


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