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Huggans v. Werlich

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

August 14, 2019

DARWIN HUGGANS, Petitioner,
v.
T. G. WERLICH, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JOHN A. ROSS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on petitioner's motion for writ of habeas corpus brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The motion is barred by the statute of limitations, and petitioner will be required to show cause why his application for relief should not be summarily dismissed.

         Background

         In February of 1995, petitioner plead guilty to possession of cocaine. See State v. Huggans, No. 22931-03470-01 (St. Louis City Court, 22nd Judicial Circuit). He was sentenced to five (5) years' imprisonment in the Missouri Department of Corrections, concurrent with a prior ten (10) year sentence he received on August 3, 1990, for second degree drug trafficking in State v. Huggans, No. 891-03557 (St. Louis City Court, 22nd Judicial Circuit).

         Petitioner failed to appeal his five-year sentence at the time he received his conviction in 1995. Rather, on September 29, 2009, petitioner filed a motion to vacate his sentence, pursuant to Mo.Sup.Ct.Rule 24.035. Huggans v. State, No. 1022-CC01896 (St. Louis City Court, 22nd Judicial Circuit). In his motion, filed fourteen years after his conviction, petitioner argued that newly-discovered evidence of police misconduct showed that he was innocent of the crime for which he had been convicted. Petitioner also asserted that his counsel had been ineffective because he relied on allegedly false evidence and reports provided by police officers involved in the investigation when coercing him into pleading guilty. The court denied his motion to vacate on July 27, 2016.[1] Id.

         On September 9, 2016, petitioner appealed the denial of his motion to vacate in the Court of Appeals. Huggans v. State, No. ED 105524 (Mo.Ct.App.2017). The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the appeal as untimely on June 21, 2017. Id.

         On September 14, 2017, petitioner filed a Missouri Rule 91 application for writ of habeas corpus in the Missouri Court of Appeals. Huggans v. State, No. ED105914 (Mo.Ct.App.2017). The Court denied petitioner's writ because he was not in state custody at the time of filing.[2] Id.

         On October 13, 2017, petitioner filed a second Rule 91 application for writ of habeas corpus. However, this time he filed it in the Missouri Supreme Court. Huggans v. State, No. SC96734 (2017). Petitioner's request was denied on November 21, 2017. Id.

         Petitioner placed the instant application for habeas corpus brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in the prison mailing system on November 13, 2018.

         Petitioner's claims in his motions were all based on his allegations that former St. Louis City Police Officer Bobby Lee Garrett provided false and misleading information to the Circuit Court in order to obtain a search warrant, and that Garrett planted evidence at the scene in order to obtain petitioner's conviction. In his motions, petitioner identified Garrett as the arresting officer in his case.

         Legal Standard

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d):

(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 ...

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