United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
ELGIN G. KING ADC #088556 PETITIONER
WENDY KELLEY, Director, Arkansas Department of Correction RESPONDENT
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge D.P. Marshall, Jr. You may file written
objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do
so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the
factual and/or legal basis for your objection; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the
right to appeal questions of fact.
before the Court is a § 2254 Petition for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus filed by Petitioner Elgin King
(“King”). Doc. 2. Before addressing King's
habeas claim, the Court will review the procedural history of
the case in state court.
6, 1998, a Pulaski County jury convicted King of first-degree
murder and sentenced him, as a habitual offender, to sixty
years in the Arkansas Department of Correction. Doc. 8-15 at
appealed his conviction to the Arkansas Supreme Court, where
he argued his conviction should be reversed based on the
trial court: (1) denying his motion for directed verdict
based on insufficiency of the evidence; (2) refusing his
motion to declare a witness an accomplice; and (3) admitting
evidence of appellant's gang involvement. King v.
State, 338 Ark. 591 (1999).
September 23, 1999, the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed
King's conviction. In doing so, it ruled that: (1) King
failed to preserve the issue of sufficiency of the evidence
by not renewing his motion for directed verdict after the
state's rebuttal testimony; (2) the law of the case
precluded the Court from considering the issue of whether the
witness in question was an accomplice; and (3) King opened
the door to testimony that he was a gang member. Id.
November 18, 1999, King filed a pro se Rule 37
Petition in the Pulaski County Circuit Court, raising various
ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims. Doc. 8-5 at
1. On November 14, 2000, the trial court entered an order
denying Rule 37 relief.
appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court. On February 14, 2002,
the Court affirmed the trial court's denial of Rule 37
relief, and, on March 5, 2002, the Mandate issued. Doc. 8-7.
December 6, 2018, King initiated this habeas action, and
raised a single claim: His 1998 first degree murder
conviction was based on insufficient evidence. Doc. 2.
January 16, 2019, Respondent filed a Response, in which she
argues that: (1) King's habeas claim is time-barred; (2)
He has procedurally defaulted the claim; and (3) Under
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-680, 686
(2009), King's allegations are so vague and conclusory
that he has not stated a claim for relief. Doc. 8.
On February 25, 2019, King filed a Reply. Doc. 12.
reasons explained below, the Court concludes that King's
habeas claim is time-barred. Accordingly, the Court need not
address Respondent's other grounds for the dismissal of
King's Habeas Claim Is Untimely.
AEDPA,  a federal habeas petitioner must file his
habeas Petition within one year of the date the state
“judgment became final by the conclusion of direct
review or the expiration of the time for seeking such
review.” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A). “When
the State's highest court issues a decision on direct
review, and review on certiorari is not sought, the judgment
becomes final 90 days later, when the ...