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Lewis v. Rewerts

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 1, 2019

CRAIG JERIL LEWIS, Petitioner,
v.
RANDEE REWERTS, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER (1) GRANTING RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (ECF #4), (2) DISMISSING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS (ECF #1), AND (3) DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY,

          MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED, STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner Craig Jeril Lewis is a state prisoner in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections. Following a trial in the Oakland County Circuit Court, a jury convicted Lewis of two counts of second-degree murder, larceny of a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, second offense. The state trial court then sentenced Lewis as a third habitual offender to concurrent terms of 40 to 80 years imprisonment on the murder convictions, a concurrent terms of 2 to 10 years imprisonment on the larceny and felon in possession convictions, and a consecutive term of 5 years imprisonment on the felony firearm conviction.

         On June 1, 2018, Lewis, through counsel, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (See Pet., ECF #1.) In the petition, Lewis raises claims concerning the sufficiency of the evidence, allegedly-improper testimony by certain police officers, the effectiveness of his trial counsel, the conduct of the prosecutor, the jury verdict form, the trial court's response to jury questions, and the accuracy of sentencing information. (See id.)

         For the reasons explained below, the Court concludes that the habeas petition is untimely and should be dismissed. The Court also denies Lewis a certificate of appealability.

         II

         Lewis' convictions arise from a fatal shooting outside of a bar in Oakland County, Michigan in 2012. A jury convicted Lewis on May 23, 2013, and the state trial court sentenced him on June 13, 2013. Lewis thereafter timely filed a direct appeal of right with the Michigan Court of Appeals. That court affirmed his convictions, see People v. Lewis, 2014 WL 5364123 (Mich. Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2014), and later denied reconsideration. Lewis then filed a timely application for leave to appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court, and that court denied leave to appeal in an order dated April 28, 2015. See People v. Lewis, 862 N.W.2d 223 (Mich. Apr. 28, 2015). Lewis did not file a motion for reconsideration of the Michigan Supreme Court's April 28, 2015, order denying leave to appeal in his direct appeal.

         On July 28, 2016, Lewis filed a motion for relief from judgment with the state trial court. (See ECF #5-13.) That court denied relief and denied a motion for reconsideration. See People v. Lewis, Nos. 2012-243289-FC, 2012-243290-FH (Oakland Co. Cir. Ct. Sept. 15, 2016). Lewis then filed an application for leave to appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals, and that court denied leave to appeal. See People v. Lewis, No. 335896 (Mich. Ct. App. Apr. 13, 2017). Lewis next filed an application for leave to appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court, and that court denied leave to appeal. See People v. Lewis, 907 N.W.2d 557 (Mich. Mar. 5, 2018). Finally, Lewis filed a motion reconsideration, and the Michigan Supreme Court denied reconsideration in an order dated May 29, 2018. See People v. Lewis, 911 N.W.2d 687 (Mich. May 29, 2018).

         Lewis, through counsel, filed his federal habeas petition on June 1, 2018. (See Pet., ECF #1.) Respondent filed the instant motion to dismiss the petition as untimely on December 10, 2018. (See Mot., ECF #4.) Lewis responded to the motion on January 18, 2019. (See Resp., ECF #7.) The Court subsequently issued an order requiring supplemental briefing in connection with the motion to dismiss. (See Order, ECF #8.) Pursuant to that order, Lewis filed a supplemental response on February 25, 2019, and Respondent filed a supplement response on March 18, 2019. (See Supp. Briefs, ECF ## 9, 10).

         III

         A

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2241 et seq., became effective on April 24, 1996, and applies to Lewis' petition. AEDPA includes a one-year period of limitations for habeas petitions brought by prisoners challenging state-court judgments. AEDPA 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 ...

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