SHARION AYCOCK, District Judge.
This matter comes before the court on the pro se petition of Howard Hays for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The State has moved to dismiss the petition for failure to exhaust state court remedies. The petitioner has not responded to the motion; the deadline to do so has expired, and the matter is ripe for resolution. For the reasons set forth below, the State's motion will be granted, and the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus will be dismissed without prejudice for failure to exhaust state remedies.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1), a prisoner seeking habeas corpus relief must first exhaust state remedies. Section 2254 provides, in relevant part:
"A fundamental prerequisite to federal habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is the exhaustion of all claims in state court under § 2254(b)(1) prior to requesting federal collateral relief." Sterling v. Scott, 57 F.3d 451, 453 (5
Howard Hayes pled guilty to burglary (Count I) and grand larceny (Count II) in the Circuit Court of LeFlore County, Mississippi. He was sentenced as a habitual offender under Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-81 to serve a term of seven years on Count I and a consecutive sentence of five years on Count II in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Hayes states in his petition, and the Leflore County Circuit Court records confirm, that he currently has a motion for post-conviction relief pending in that court challenging the convictions and sentences at issue in the instant petition.
The petitioner still has available the remedy of state post-conviction collateral relief, which he is pursuing in state court. As such, the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus must be dismissed for failure to exhaust state remedies. The court cautions the petitioner that the one-year federal habeas corpus limitations period has been running during the pendency of this federal petition, and the petitioner needs to move with diligence to ensure that he exhausts state remedies prior to the expiration of the federal habeas corpus deadline. A final judgment consistent with this memorandum opinion will issue today.