The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM McCURINE JR., Magistrate Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE RE
DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
Ted Darnell Daniels ("Daniels" or "Petitioner"), a state
prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, has filed a
First Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("Petition" or "Pet."). (Doc. No. 14.) Petitioner
challenges his June 7, 2001 San Diego County Superior Court
conviction for burglary, reckless driving, three counts of
assault with a deadly weapon, and findings that he had suffered
one serious felony confiction, two strike convictions, and five
prison priors. (Pet. at 2.) He argues that the Petition should be
granted on the following grounds: (1) insufficient evidence
exists to support the convictions for assault with a deadly
weapon; (2) ineffective assistance of trial counsel; and (3)
ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. (Pet. at 6-8.)
Respondent filed an Answer on July 12, 2005. (Doc. No. 30.)
Petitioner filed a Traverse on September 14, 2005. (Doc. No. 37.)
This Report and Recommendation is submitted to United States
District Judge Dana M. Sabraw pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)
and Local Civil Rule H.C.2 of the United States District Court
for the Southern District of California. For the reasons stated herein,
the Court recommends that the Petition be DENIED.
On June 7, 2001, Petitioner was convicted in San Diego County
Superior Court of burglary in violation of California Penal Code
§ 459, evading an officer with reckless driving in violation of
California Vehicle Code § 2800.2, and three counts of assault
with a deadly weapon in violation of California Penal Code §§
245(a)(1), 1192.7(c)(23). The jury returned true findings on the
allegations that Petitioner had a previous serious felony
conviction, two strike convictions, and five prison priors within
the meaning of California Penal Code §§ 667(a), 667(b)-(i), and
667.5(b). (Lodgment No. 2, 15 Reporter's Transcript ("RT") at
894-897; Answer at 2; Pet. at 2.) Petitioner was sentenced to
fifty-five years-to-life in state prison. (Lodgment No. 2, 16 RT
at 945; Pet. at 2.)
Petitioner appealed his conviction to the California Court of
Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, on the ground
that there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions
for assault with a deadly weapon. (Lodgment No. 3, People v.
Daniels, No. D038444, SCD 149951, slip op. at 13 (Cal.Ct.App.
April 9, 2002); Pet. at 2.) The court of appeal affirmed his
conviction on February 26, 2003. (Lodgment No. 4, People v.
Daniels, No. D038444, slip op. (Cal.Ct.App. Feb. 26, 2003); Pet.
at 2.) Petitioner sought further review in the California Supreme
Court. (Lodgment No. 5, California v. Daniels, No. SD2001DA1314
(Cal. April 10, 2003); Pet. at 2.) His appeal was denied on May
14, 2003. (Lodgment No. 5, People v. Daniels, No. S114808, slip
op. (Cal. May 14, 2003); Pet. at 2.)
Petitioner also filed a habeas petition in San Diego County
Superior Court, case number HC17735, claiming ineffective
assistance of trial and appellate counsel. (Lodgment No. 6, In
re: Daniels, No. HC17735, SCD 149951 (Cal.Super.Ct. Aug. 4,
2004); Pet. at 3.) That petition was denied on August 4, 2004.
(Lodgment No. 6, In re: Daniels, No. HC17735, SCD 149951, slip
op. at 3; Pet. at 3.) Similar petitions were summarily denied by
the California appellate court on December 7, 2004, and by the
California Supreme Court on March 2, 2005. (Pet. at 3-4; Lodgment
No. 7, In re: Daniels, No. S130029, slip op. at 1 (Cal. March
2, 2005).) II.
Petitioner filed this petition on August 11, 2004, just after
his state habeas petition was denied by the San Diego Superior
Court. (Doc. No. 1.) Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss in this
Court on September 14, 2004. (Doc. No. 5.) On October 6, 2004,
Petitioner filed a Motion to Stay Pending Exhaustion of
Unexhausted Claim in State Court, and an Opposition to the Motion
to Dismiss. (Doc. No. 8.) On April 6, 2005, the Court denied the
Motion to Dismiss, denied the Motion for Appointment of Counsel,
and denied the Motion to Stay as moot. (Doc. No. 13.)
After exhausting his state court remedies, Petitioner filed a
First Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus on April 7,
2005. (Doc. No. 14.) Respondent filed an Answer to the Petition
on July 12, 2005. (Doc. No. 30.) Petitioner filed a Traverse on
September 14, 2005. (Doc. No. 37.)
The following statement of facts is taken from the state
appellate court opinion affirming Petitioner's conviction. This
Court gives deference to state court findings of fact and
presumes them to be correct; Petitioner may rebut the presumption
of correctness, but only by clear and convincing evidence.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); see also Sumner v. Mata, 449 U.S. 539,
545-47 (1981) (stating that deference is owed to factual findings
of both state trial and appellate courts).
This saga began early on Christmas morning 1999, when
San Diego Police responded to a burglary alarm at a
Fry's Electronics store. A padlock securing the
store's warehouse had been cut off, the warehouse
entered and 41 laptop computers taken.
The first officer to respond was San Diego Police
officer Kristen Adams. Adams observed a blue Ford van
at the store with three men in it. The van drove
away, passing the police car as it left the store.
Officer Adams observed Daniels driving the van.
Officer Adams began a pursuit with emergency lights
and siren that would continue for many miles, at high
speeds and ultimately involving multiple police
officers and vehicles.
When the van left the Fry's lot it headed south on
I-15 and then onto 40th Street. At the intersection
of 40th and Monroe the van stopped briefly, the
passenger and side doors opened and two men fled from
the van. The van then sped away with police in
pursuit. The chase continued south on I-15 until the
van exited at Market Street. Running red lights, the
van headed back to I-15 northbound at high speed. It
crashed through orange barriers at a point where the
road was closed for construction. Flat tires as a
result of following Daniels and the van through the
construction disabled one of the police cars in
The chase continued northbound on I-15 at speeds in
excess of 100 miles per hour. Traffic officers tried
to overtake the van, get ahead of it and lay down
nail strips in the roadway. One of the officers drove alongside the van
and observed Daniels as the driver and sole occupant.
Daniels made an abrupt exit from the freeway and
returned heading south again, with police in pursuit.
Eventually police abandoned the idea of laying nail
strips to stop the van because of the dangerous and
erratic manner in which Daniels was driving.
Daniels continued southbound at high rates of speed.
Ultimately he entered I-8 eastbound until he pulled
over just west of the Waring Road exit. As police
slowed to approach the van, Daniels made a U-turn and
started driving west in the eastbound lanes of I-8.
Officer Kyler positioned his car across lanes 1 and 2
at a 45-degree angle. Daniels looked directly at the
patrol car, "just gassed it" and headed towards the
patrol car. His van struck the left front of the
patrol car, even though there was room for him to
drive past it.
After hitting Kyler's car, Daniels proceeded west in
the eastbound lands of I-8. Daniels next drove at
Sergeant Reschke's car, striking the front of the
patrol car. Daniels drove on west bound until his car
became disabled a short distance later. Daniels fled
from the car and was located hiding in a nearby
riverbed. By the time the pursuit ended, police had
been chasing Daniels for 42 minutes.
Daniels testified on his own behalf and said he was
not the driver of the van. He offered an explanation
for his presence in the van and testified that an
Asian man was driving throughout the police pursuit.
He said that when the van was disabled he and the
Asian man fled. He was later apprehended by police.
The defense called Ronald Carr, an expert witness, to
testify as an accident reconstructionist. He
discussed his view of the accidents, indicating he
thought the van did not hit any of the patrol cars
head on. He found it impossible to determine what, if
any, damage occurred to the van during the encounter.
(Lodgment No. 4, People v. Daniels, No. D038444, slip op. at