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Wright v. Wilson

United States District Court, District of Columbia

March 12, 2013

CHESTER WRIGHT, Petitioner,
v.
ERIC D. WILSON, WARDEN, Respondent

CHESTER WRIGHT, Petitioner, Pro se, PETERSBURG, VA.

For ERIC D. WILSON, Warden, Respondent: James Stephen Sweeney, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 8

EMMET G. SULLIVAN, United States District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the Court on respondent's motion to dismiss the petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by Chester Wright. The motion will be granted.

I. BACKGROUND

" On October 7, 1991, District of Columbia Corrections Officer Ronald Richardson was scheduled to testify at the criminal trial of Michael Page in the Superior Court. As he prepared to leave his home to go to court that day, Richardson was shot and killed in his driveway." Wright v. United States, 979 A.2d 26, 28 (D.C. 2009). " On June 29, 1992, . . . Wright [was] charged in a ten-count indictment with, inter alia, the premeditated murder of . . . Ronald Richardson." United States v. Hammond, 681 A.2d 1140, 1141-42 (D.C. 1996) (footnote omitted). [1] A jury found Wright guilty of multiple criminal offenses, see Mem. in Supp. of Pet. for Writ of Habeas Corpus (" Pet." ) at 1, and on March 21, 1997, Wright was sentenced to an aggregate

Page 9

term of 28 1/3 years to life in prison. Id. at 2. On August 11, 2005, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions on direct appeal, " remanding only to vacate the judgment as to certain merged offenses." Wright, 979 A.2d at 29; see Hammond v. United States, 880 A.2d 1066 (D.C. 2005). Wright was resentenced on February 28, 2006, Pet. at 2, and on June 5, 2006, the Supreme Court of the United States denied his petition for a writ of certiorari. See Wright v. United States, 547 U.S. 1184, 126 S.Ct. 2373, 165 L.Ed.2d 287 (2006).

Meanwhile, " [i]n January 1997, shortly after his trial ended, [Wright] filed a pro se 'motion to arrest judgment,' and later he also filed a § 23-110 motion, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel." [2] Wright, 979 A.2d at 29; Pet. at 2. After Wright obtained counsel, he filed an amended motion alleging prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of trial counsel. See Wright, 979 A.2d at 29. The Superior Court denied the motion on July 18, 2006, after having conducted an evidentiary hearing. Pet. at 2; see Resp't's Mot. to Dismiss Pet'r's Pet. for Writ of Habeas Corpus (" Resp't's Mot." ), Ex. 1 at 2. Wright's second § 23-110 motion, filed on March 19, 2007, alleged " that the prosecutor had withheld material, exculpatory evidence under Brady v. Maryland [, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963)]." Wright, 979 A.2d at 29. The Superior Court denied the motion on June 29, 2007 without a hearing. See id. ; Resp't's Mot., Ex. 1 at 1. Wright appealed the denial of both § 23-110 motions, and on August 27, 2009, the Court of Appeals affirmed both rulings. Wright, 979 A.2d at 28. Its mandate issued on December 29, 2009. Resp't's Mot., Ex. 3 at 2.

Wright's previous efforts to obtain habeas relief in federal district court were unsuccessful. See Wright v. Stansberry, 759 F.Supp.2d 49 (D.D.C. 2011), appeal dismissed, No. 11-5046, 2011 WL 2618210 (D.C. Cir. June 24, 2011) (per curiam); Wright v. Stansberry, 677 F.Supp.2d 286 (D.D.C. 2010). Wright filed the instant petition on May 8, 2012.

II. DISCUSSION

Wright files this petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, see Pet. at 3, pursuant to which a federal district court may " entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court . . . ." 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254(a). " A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant ...


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