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Reynolds v. Knight

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

April 19, 2018

HAROLD WAYNE REYNOLDS, Petitioner,
v.
STAN KNIGHT, Warden, Plainfield Correctional Facility, Respondent.[1]

          ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge United States District Court

         For the reasons explained in this Entry, Harold Wayne Reynolds' petition for a writ of habeas corpus is denied. In addition, the Court finds that a certificate of appealability should not issue.

         I. The Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

         A. Background

         Reynolds is a state prisoner incarcerated at Plainfield Correctional Facility. He is currently serving an eighteen year sentence for burglary.

         On January 27, 2014, the State of Indiana charged Reynolds with burglary, as a Class C felony, attempted theft, as a Class D felony, and resisting law enforcement, as a Class A misdemeanor. The State also alleged Reynolds to be a habitual offender.

         Reynolds' jury trial commenced on May 27, 2014. At the close of the State's evidence, the resisting law enforcement charge was dismissed. On May 28, 2014, the jury returned guilty verdicts on the burglary and attempted theft charges. Reynolds then admitted to being a habitual offender. On June 25, 2014, the trial court found that the burglary merged with attempted theft and entered a judgment of conviction on the burglary charge. The court also found Reynolds to be a habitual offender. Reynolds was sentenced to six years in the Indiana Department of Correction for burglary, enhanced by twelve years due to the habitual offender determination. See Reynolds v. State, 73A01-1407-CR-314 (Ind.Ct.App. June 5, 2015) (Memorandum Decision) at dkt. 7-5.

         Reynolds appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals. On June 5, 2015, that court affirmed Reynolds' conviction and sentence. Reynolds did not file a petition to transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court.

         Reynolds filed a petition for post-conviction relief in state court on September 22, 2015. That petition was denied by the post-conviction court on October 19, 2016. Reynolds did not appeal.

         Reynolds filed the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus in this Court on October 2, 2017.

         B. Discussion

         Reynolds challenges his state-court conviction and sentence on the grounds that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. The respondent argues that Reynolds' petition must be denied because it is untimely. For the reasons explained below, this Court agrees that Reynolds' petition is untimely and that his petition for a writ of habeas corpus must be dismissed with prejudice.

         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 year after his conviction becomes final in state court to file his federal petition.” Gladney v. Pollard, 799 F.3d 889, 894 (7th Cir. 2015). “The one-year clock is stopped, however, during the time the petitioner's ‘properly filed' application for state postconviction relief ‘is pending.'” Day v. McDonough, 547 U.S. 198, 201 (2006) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2)).

         The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Reynolds' conviction on June 5, 2015. He had 30 days to petition to transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court. He failed to do so. Thus, the one-year clock started to run when his conviction became final on Monday July 6, 2015. See Gonzalez v. Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 150 (2012) (“[T]he ...


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