The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Vanaskie
Before the Court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, filed by Petitioner Thomas W. Barndt, a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania inmate sentenced to life imprisonment by a Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas jury for the murder of his estranged wife. For the reasons that follow, the petition will be dismissed as untimely filed.
A. State Court Proceedings
Barndt is currently serving a life sentenced for the murder of his estranged wife, Andrea Barndt. At trial, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania alleged that Barndt shot and killed his wife on September 30, 1991. Almost two months later Mrs. Barndt's body was found concealed in an attic crawl space in the Barndt's marital home. (Dkt. Entry 16-7, Appendix D, Commonwealth v. Barndt, No. 91-11134, Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas (slip op. May 10, 1995)).
On October 9, 1993, after a jury trial, Barndt was convicted in the Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas of first degree homicide and sentenced to life imprisonment on May 17, 1995. (Dkt. Entry 16-21, Transcript of Sentencing Proceedings, May 17, 1995.) Petitioner filed a timely direct appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, which affirmed his conviction and sentence on July 31, 1996. On January 21, 1997, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Barndt's Petition for Allocatur. See Com. v. Barndt, 454 Pa. Super. 676, 685 A.2d 206 (Pa. Super. Jul. 31, 1996)(table), appeal denied, 547 Pa. 713, 688 A.2d 170 (Pa. Jan. 21. 1997)(table)(No. 51 M.D.Alloc. 1996); see also Dkt. Entry 16-3, Commonwealth v. Barndt, No. 1340 MDA 2005 (Pa. Super. May 12, 2006)(slip op.). Barndt did not petition the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari.
Barndt filed his first petition for post-conviction collateral relief pursuant to the Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"), 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 9545 on March 14, 1997. Dkt. Entry 16-3, Commonwealth v. Barndt, No. 1340 MDA 2005 (Pa. Super. May 12, 2006)(slip op.).
After a hearing, the PCRA court dismissed the petition on November 27, 2001. [Barndt] filed an appeal, which the [Pennsylvania Superior Court] dismissed on October 7, 2004 for failure to comply with Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 3517 by not filing a docketing statement. On April 8, 2005, [Barndt] filed a second PCRA petition. On July 11, 2005, the PCRA Court dismissed the petition as untimely. (Id.) On May 12, 2006, noting Barndt's failure to raise any exception which would allow for the review of an otherwise untimely PCRA petition, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the PCRA Court's dismissal of the second PCRA petition as untimely. (Id.)
Barndt filed the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on November 21, 2006.*fn1 (Dkt. Entry 1, Petition.) A Response to the petition was filed on February 23, 2007. Respondents argue, inter alia, that the § 2254 petition is untimely. (See Dkt. Entries 14 - 16.) Petitioner filed his Traverse on May 3, 2007, in which he argued the merits of his petition and added that if his Petition is untimely, "it is because there was interference by government officials." (Dkt. Entry 21, Traverse at R. 14.)*fn2
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"), effective April 24, 1996, amended the federal habeas corpus statute by imposing a one-year statute of limitations on petitions filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Specifically, a state prisoner requesting habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 must adhere to a statute of limitations that, in relevant part, provides:
(d)(1) A one-year period of limitations 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 ...