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Means v. Brown

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

November 1, 2017

DERRICK MICHAEL MEANS, Petitioner,
v.
RICHARD BROWN Superintendent, Respondent.

          ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge

         Petitioner Derrick Means is serving a 16-year sentence based on his convictions for two counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury. Mr. Means was ordered to serve twelve years of his sentence executed to the Indiana Department of Correction and the remaining four years on probation. He now seeks a writ of habeas corpus. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Means's petition for a writ of habeas corpus is denied and the action dismissed with prejudice. In addition, the Court finds that a certificate of appealability should not issue.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         A federal habeas court presumes that the state courts' account of the facts is accurate unless the petitioner rebuts this presumption of correctness by clear and convincing evidence. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); Caffey v. Butler, 802 F.3d 884, 887-88 (7th Cir. 2015). On direct appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals found as follows:

On November 27, 2013, while fleeing from the police in Johnson County, a heavily intoxicated Means rammed his SUV into a vehicle occupied by two adults and their six-year-old son.
***
On December 16, 2013, the State filed an Information charging Means with: Counts I and II, causing serious bodily injury when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated with a previous conviction of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated within the past five years, both Class C felonies; Counts III and IV, resisting law enforcement, both Class C felonies; and Count V, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated with a previous conviction of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated within the past five year, a Class D felony.
On November 13, 2014, Means pled guilty to Counts I and II in exchange for a maximum executed sentence cap of six years on each Count, merger of Count V with Counts I and II, and dismissal of Counts III and IV. On January 26, 2015, the trial court held a sentencing hearing and, on January 28, 2015, sentenced Means to an aggregate term of sixteen years, with twelve years executed at the Department of Correction and four years suspended to probation.

Means v. State, No. 41A04-1502-CR-68 (Ind.Ct.App. Feb. 25, 2016). Means's convictions and sentence were affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals on direct appeal on February 25, 2016. Means did not seek review by the Indiana Supreme Court.

         On April 4, 2016, Means filed a petition to correct erroneous sentence in the trial court. That motion was denied on April 13, 2016. He filed a motion to reconsider that ruling on April 29, 2016, and a notice of appeal on July 21, 2016. The appeal was dismissed as untimely and the Indiana Supreme Court denied his petition to transfer.

         On May 17, 2017, Means signed and filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

         II. Discussion

         In support of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, Mr. Means challenges his sentence and argues that his counsel was ineffective. The respondent contends that Mr. Means's petition is barred by AEDPA's one-year statute of limitations.

         In an attempt to “curb delays, to prevent ‘retrials' on federal habeas, and to give effect to state convictions to the extent possible under law, ” Congress, as part of the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, revised several of the statutes governing federal habeas relief. Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 404 (2000). Along with triggering dates not applicable here, “[u]nder 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A), a state prisoner seeking federal habeas relief has just one ...


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