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Ramon v. Stephens

United States District Court, Fifth Circuit

December 2, 2013

ABEL M. RAMON
v.
WILLIAM STEPHENS, Director, Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice-Correctional Institutions Division

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

ANDREW W. AUSTIN, Magistrate Judge.

TO: THE HONORABLE SAM SPARKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

The Magistrate Judge submits this Report and Recommendation to the District Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b) and Rule 1(e) of Appendix C of the Local Court Rules of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Local Rules for the Assignment of Duties to United States Magistrates, as amended, effective December 1, 2002.

Before the Court are Petitioner's Application for Habeas Corpus Relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Document 1); Petitioner's Memorandum in Support (Document 2); Respondent's Motion to Dismiss (Document 12); Petitioner's Objection to Respondent's Answer and Brien in Support (Document 13); and Petitioner's Supplemental Appendix (Document 16). Petitioner, proceeding pro se, has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. For the reasons set forth below, the undersigned finds that Petitioner's application for writ of habeas corpus should be dismissed.

I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

A. Petitioner's Criminal History

According to Respondent, the Director has custody of Petitioner pursuant to a judgment and sentence of the 368th Judicial District Court of Williamson County, Texas. In cause number 10-1394-K368, Petitioner pleaded guilty to one count of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit assault and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Pursuant to his plea agreement, the State dismissed a charge of evading arrest with a motor vehicle, and Petitioner pleaded true to the penalty paragraphs and that he used a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for each count on March 9, 2011. Petitioner's sentences were ordered to run concurrently. As part of the plea agreement, Petitioner also pleaded guilty to the felony offenses of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of a firearm arising out of a separate criminal transaction under another cause number. Petitioner was sentenced to 30 years on each of those counts, and his sentences were ordered to run concurrently with each other and with his sentence in cause number 10-1394-K368.

Petitioner did not appeal his convictions. He did, however, challenge his convictions in a state application for habeas corpus relief. Ex parte Ramon, Appl. No. 78, 932-01 at 5-16. Petitioner executed his state application on November 1, 2012. Id. at 15. The application was file-marked on November 5, 2012. Id. at 5. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied it without written order on the findings of the trial court without a hearing on February 20, 2013. Id. at cover.

B. Petitioner's Grounds for Relief

Petitioner claims his guilty plea was involuntary due to the ineffectiveness of his trial counsel. Petitioner believes counsel failed to investigate his mental competency prior to him entering his guilty plea. Petitioner further claims counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate whether he was insane at the time he committed his offenses. Petitioner also claims he is actually innocent due to his alleged insanity.

Specifically, Petitioner asserts he was diagnosed with Type II diabetes and hypertension one and half years before he committed the offenses of aggravated assault, burglary of a habitation and evading arrest with a motor vehicle. While confined in jail after his arrest, Petitioner asserts he was given medicine to treat his medical conditions and to help him sleep. He contends these medications were "psychiatric medications" and he was also being treated for depression. He complains his attorney did not investigate his medications to determine whether he was competent when he pleaded guilty. Petitioner also contends on the night he committed his offenses he must have developed Diabetic Ketoacidosis ("DKA"), which would have caused him to suffer from psychotic symptoms, thus rendering incompetent or insane at the time of the offense. As proof he asserts he received emergency medical treatment for diabetes immediately after his arrest.

II. DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

A. Statute of Limitations

Respondent moves to dismiss Petitioner's application as time-barred. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") establishes a one-year statute of limitations for state inmates seeking federal habeas corpus relief. ...


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