United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
JOHN E. JONES, III, District Judge.
On July 29, 2010, Petitioner, Jody Witter, an inmate confined at the State Correctional Institution in Houtzdale, Pennsylvania, ("SCI-Houtzdale"), filed the instant pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus. (Doc. 1). Petitioner challenges his June 2009 criminal conviction in the York County Court of Common Pleas. ( Id. ). Respondents filed responses to the habeas petition and a supporting memorandum. (Docs. 10, 11, 16). No traverse has been filed. For the reasons discussed below, the petition will be denied as time-barred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).
The following background has been extracted from the Pennsylvania Superior Court's November 30, 2011 Opinion, affirming the Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA") court's order denying PCRA relief. (Doc. 16-2, Pennsylvania Superior Court Opinion dated November 30, 2011).
Procedurally, a criminal complaint was filed in this case on November 5, 2008, charging the Defendant with his involvement in a robbery, burglary and theft incident which occurred in Spring Garden Township at a residential facility owned by Shadowfox on November 2nd, 2008, shortly before 9:00 p.m. in the evening.
The charging documents indicated that two individuals forcibly entered the residential facility, which was for disabled residents with a house person in charge, and carried out the offenses, on the way sexually assaulting the house parent, taking a company-owned van used to transport the disabled residents and other properties, including small funds held or maintained by the various disabled residents. The accomplices successfully fled and departed the scene of the offense.
A few days subsequent, the Defendant was found in the Philadelphia area in possession of the referenced stolen vehicle. The hoody-type of sweatshirt was also found within the van.
The identity of the second person was not disclosed at that time. According to the investigating police officer in Philadelphia, Defendant in a statement acknowledged his involvement but declined or was unable to disclose the identity of the second person.
The Defendant, while we should note has at all times denied both at trial and continuing to today, denies making that inculpatory confession or admission to his own involvement.
Subsequently, the hoody sweatshirt was analyzed for DNA and no DNA linking the Defendant to the sweatshirt was determined.
However, DNA from the sweatshirt did apparently come back positive for another individual, one Ervin Warfield Whitby, a/k/a Maurice Warfield Whitby. Mr. Whitby was separately charged for his purported involvement in early September of 2009.
The Defendant proceeded to trial alone on May 12th through 14th, 2009, following which he was convicted of all offenses. He was subsequently sentenced on June 22, 2009, to an aggregate sentence of 16 to 32 years [of incarceration] and he is currently under that sentence.
Direct appeal followed, from which the judgment of sentence was affirmed by the Superior Court and requested Supreme Court review, recently denied. This PCRA, as indicated, was filed ...