United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, Pikeville
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, Judge
matter is before the Court on the Recommended Disposition
filed by Magistrate Judge Candace J. Smith. [R. 13.]
Petitioner Kathy Williams, through counsel, filed a petition
to vacate, set aside, or correct her sentence pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §2254. [R. 1.] Consistent with local practice,
Judge Smith reviewed the petition and ultimately recommends
that the Court deny Ms. Williams's Petition in its
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(2), a petitioner has
fourteen days after service to register any objections to the
Recommended Disposition or else waive his rights to appeal.
In order to receive de novo review by this Court,
any objection to the recommended disposition must be
specific. Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th
Cir. 1986). A specific objection must “explain and cite
specific portions of the report which [defendant] deem[s]
problematic.” Robert v. Tesson, 507 F.3d 981,
994 (6th Cir. 2007) (internal quotations and citations
omitted). A general objection that fails to identify specific
factual or legal issues from the recommendation, however, is
not permitted, since it duplicates the Magistrate's
efforts and wastes judicial economy. Howard v. Sec'y
of Health & Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th
Williams filed timely, specific objections on March 5, 2019.
[R. 14.] Accordingly, the Court has an obligation to conduct
a de novo review of the Magistrate Judge's
findings. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c). The
Court has satisfied that duty, reviewing the entire record,
including the pleadings, the parties' arguments, relevant
case law and statutory authority, as well as applicable
procedural rules. For the following reasons, Ms.
Williams's objections will be OVERRULED,
and Judge Smith's Recommendation will be
Smith's Recommended Disposition accurately sets forth the
factual and procedural background of the case. The Court
mentions only key facts to frame its discussion and analysis
and incorporates Judge Smith's discussion of the record
in this Order.
Williams was indicted for murder in the Commonwealth of
Kentucky on January 12, 2004. Williams v. Commonwealth of
Kentucky, No. 2005-SC-000472-MR, 2007 WL 3225435, at *2
(Ky. Nov. 1, 2007). After a jury trial, Ms. Williams was
convicted of murder on April 22, 2005, and sentenced to life
in prison. Williams v. Commonwealth, No.
2013-CA-001948-MR, 2015 WL 3429399, at *1 (Ky. Ct. App. May
29, 2015). She appealed, but the Supreme Court of Kentucky
affirmed her conviction on November 1, 2007.
Williams, 2007 WL 3225435.
this, Ms. Williams attempted to vacate her sentence by filing
a pro se petition pursuant to Kentucky Rule of
Criminal Procedure (RCr) 11.42 on May 27, 2008.
Williams, 2015 WL 3429399, at *1. After appointment
of counsel and an evidentiary hearing, the Kentucky court
denied her RCr 11.42 motion on March 1, 2013. Id.
She asked the court to reconsider, which was denied on
September 4 of that same year. Id. Ms. Williams
appealed again, and on May 29, 2015, the Kentucky Court of
Appeals affirmed denial of her RCr 11.42 motion. Id.
The Supreme Court of Kentucky declined to review on April 27,
2016. Williams v. Commonwealth, No.
2015-SC-000346-D, 2016 Ky. LEXIS 195 (Ky. Apr. 27, 2016).
Following exhaustion in Kentucky court, Ms. Williams
petitioned this Court on January 17, 2017, to vacate her
sentence, claiming her counsel at trial was ineffective for
failure to object to prosecutorial misconduct and failure to
investigate potentially mitigating evidence. [R. 1 at 37-70.]
Smith recommended denying Ms. Williams' petition as
untimely. [R. 13.] Pursuant to the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), Ms. Williams's
Petition is subject to a one-year statute of limitations.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). That statute states:
(d) (1) A 1-year period of limitation 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
limitation period shall run from the latest of -
(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the
conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for
seeking such review;
(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application
created by State action in violation of the Constitution or
laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was