United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
CHARLES S. COODY, Magistrate Judge.
This case is before the court on a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by state inmate Christopher McBee ("McBee"). McBee challenges his 1972 Houston County murder conviction and the resulting sentence of life in prison.
McBee was convicted in the Circuit Court of Houston County, Alabama, on the charge of murder, for which he was sentenced, on August 7, 1972, to life in prison. His conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. See McBee v. State, 50 Ala.App. 622, 282 So.2d 61 (1973).
On December 15, 2014, McBee filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in the Middle District of Alabama challenging his 1972 murder conviction and life sentence entered by the Circuit Court of Houston County, which is located in this District. This court docketed the habeas petition as Civil Action No. 1:14cv1230-MHT and entered orders for the named respondents to file an answer by January 21, 2015. See Civil Action No. 1:14cv1230-MHT Doc. Nos. 1 & 4.
In June 2014, McBee filed another habeas petition under § 2254, but this time in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. See Civil Action No. 1:15cv15-MHT, Doc. No. 1 (originally Civil Action No. 5:14cv1221-LSB-JHE in U.S.D.C. for Northern District of Alabama). On December 11, 2014, that court transferred the habeas petition to the Middle District of Alabama after it became apparent McBee was seeking to challenge the same 1972 conviction and sentence in Houston County, which, as stated, is in the Middle District. See Civil Action No. 1:15cv15-MHT, Doc. No. 17. On January 8, 2015, this court docketed the transferred habeas petition as Civil Action No. 1:15cv15-MHT. Id., Doc. No. 18.
Because McBee challenges the same Houston County conviction and sentence in both habeas petitions, this court ordered the consolidation of Civil Action No. 1:14cv1230-MHT and Civil Action No. 1:15cv15-MHT and designated Civil Action No. 1:14cv1230-MHT as the lead case. See Civil Action No. 1:14cv1230-MHT Doc. No. 7. The court further ordered that Civil Action No. 1:15cv15-MHT be closed administratively. Id .
For purposes of this Recommendation, the court considers McBee's June 2014 filing - his earliest filing - as the initiation of this habeas action under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See Civil Action No. 1:15cv15-MHT, Doc. No. 1. The court construes the pleadings filed by McBee after June 2014 to be either amendments to his § 2254 petition or supplemental materials in support of the claims in his petition. See Civil Action No. 1:14cv1230-MHT, Doc. Nos 1, 14, 17 & 22; Civil Action No. 1:15cv15-MHT, Doc. Nos. 4, 10, 11, 15 & 16. After cross-referencing the claims in McBee's pleadings and winnowing out extraneous allegations, the court had determined that McBee asserts the following claims for habeas relief:
1. The prosecution deliberately withheld "hospital evidence" that it had been told by McBee's wife that the child victim had a "heart condition."
2. Defense counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to present this "hospital evidence" at trial, and he (McBee) "was not allowed to testify at trial."
3. The trial court did not "allow a fair trial" after a witness was "caught in a lie" and the court "whispered something" to the prosecutor and defense counsel during a bench conference.
4. He was denied a copy of his trial transcript after making requests for the transcript (apparently, in 2014).
See Civil Action No. 1:14cv1230-MHT, Doc. No. 1 at 5-6; Civil Action No. 1:15cv15-MHT, Doc. No. 15 at 1-2.
The respondents argue that McBee's habeas petition is time-barred by the one-year limitation period applicable to § 2254 petitions, as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). Civil Action No. 1:14cv1230-MHT, Doc. No. 8. After reviewing the pleadings, evidentiary materials, and applicable law, the court finds that no ...