JOHN R. HAYES, III, Plaintiff - Appellant,
MARK CARVER, Defendant-Appellee.
Argued: January 30, 2019
from the United States District Court for the Middle District
of North Carolina, at Greensboro. Thomas D. Schroeder, Chief
District Judge. (1:16-cv-01100-TDS-LPA)
A. Macgregor, WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW,
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for Appellant.
Andrew Regulski, NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellee.
Mark Rabil, Associate Clinical Professor of Law, WAKE FOREST
UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for
H. Stein, Attorney General, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF
NORTH CAROLINA, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellee.
GREGORY, Chief Judge, RICHARDSON, Circuit Judge, and DUNCAN,
Senior Circuit Judge.
GREGORY, CHIEF JUDGE:
John R. Hayes, III, convicted of two counts of second-degree
murder and sentenced to two consecutive life terms, appeals
the district court's dismissal of his petition for habeas
corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. We granted a
certificate of appealability on his claim that he has made a
showing of actual innocence such that the district court
erred in dismissing his petition as untimely. Because Hayes
has failed to meet the exacting standard for the procedural
gateway claim of actual innocence, we affirm the district
court's dismissal of the petition.
October 11, 1993, Hayes was arrested in Winston-Salem, North
Carolina for the murders of Waddell Lynn Bitting and Stephen
Joel Samuels. At trial, the State presented evidence that the
shootings of Bitting and Samuels occurred on July 25, 1993,
outside of an illegal "drink house" at 910 East
22nd Street in Winston-Salem. In the early morning hours,
people who were in the drink house heard gunshots and ran
outside to investigate. There were a large number of people
outside, and numerous shots were fired. Samuels died in front
of his yellow Nissan Maxima, which was parked by the driveway
of 914 East 22nd Street, and Bitting's body was found on
the porch of 922 East 22nd Street. Id. at 694, 730.
A resident of that address called the police, and shots
continued to be fired even after the police arrived.
Winston-Salem Police Department investigated the shootings
with Detective R.L. Barren as lead detective. At trial, the
State presented the testimony of: Mary Geter, Anita Jeter,
Cynthia Coleman, Officer C.Y. Singletary, Detective T.E.
Craven, I.D. Technician Lana Perry, Dr. Patrick Lantz,
Anthony Samuels, and Detective Barren. Geter and Jeter
testified that they were inside the drink house with Hayes
when they heard shots coming from outside. The two women
waited for a minute or two while everyone else, including
Hayes, ran outside. They testified that they then walked
outside and stood on the front porch of the drink house.
According to Geter's and Jeter's testimony, Hayes was
standing behind a blue car parked on the street in front of
the house and then fired a gun multiple times down the street
into a crowd. Coleman, a third eyewitness, testified that she
saw a black male wearing a light-colored shirt standing next
to the blue car in front of the drink house and that he fired
a gun in the air and then lowered his arm to fire into a
crowd on 22nd street. Detective ...