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Beasley v. Bruce Westbrooks

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

June 1, 2017

DEMANCE BEASLEY, Petitioner,
v.
BRUCE WESTBROOKS, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is a habeas corpus action brought by Demance Beasley, a state prisoner, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Presently before the Court is Respondent's motion to dismiss the petition on the grounds that it is time-barred. (Doc. No. 28.) For the reasons set forth herein, the Court finds that the petition is barred by the statute of limitations in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A). As a result, the Court will grant Respondent's motion to dismiss.

         Discussion

         I. Background

         In 2010, the Davidson County Grand Jury issued a five-count indictment charging Petitioner with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault and one count of possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. (Doc. No. 29-1 at Page ID# 172-78; see also State v. Demance Beasley, No. M2011-00228-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL 2018227, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 6, 2012). The case was tried to a jury, which found Petitioner guilty of first-degree felony murder, the lesser included offense of reckless homicide, the lesser included offense of voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and possession. (Doc. 29-1 at Page ID# 257-61.) The lesser included offenses were merged into the felony murder conviction and Petitioner was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, six years for the aggravated assault conviction and 12 years for the possession conviction. (Id.)

         Petitioner appealed to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. On June 6, 2012, the court of appeals issued an opinion affirming the trial court's judgments. See Beasley, 2012 WL 2018227, at *9. Petitioner filed an application for permission to appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which was denied on October 17, 2012.[1] (Doc. No. 29-3.) Petitioner did not file a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.

         On September 27, 2013, Petitioner timely filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the trial court. (Doc. No. 29-4 at Page ID# 305-08.) He subsequently amended his petition twice. (Id. at Page ID# 309-316, 319-29.) The petition for post-conviction relief was denied on July 25, 2014. (Id. at Page ID# 333-38.) Petitioner appealed to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, which denied relief on August 13, 2015. See Beasley v. State, No. M2014-01507-CCA-R3-PC, 2015 WL 4764282, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 13, 2015). Thereafter, Petitioner sought permission to appeal from the Tennessee Supreme Court, which was denied on November 25, 2015. Id. at *1.

         Petitioner filed his petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in this Court on or about November 28, 2016.[2] He filed an amended petition on February 10, 2017.

         II. Statute of Limitations

         Petitioner's application is barred by the one-year statute of limitations provided in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1), which became effective on April 24, 1996, as part of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (AEDPA). Section 2244(d)(1) 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 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 ...

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