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Hall v. Kramer

June 30, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milan D. Smith, Jr. United States Circuit Judge Sitting by Designation


Petitioner Michael Anthony Hall, a state prisoner, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). Pending before the court are Hall's petition for a writ of habeas corpus (Pet.), Hall's amended petition (Am. Pet.), Respondent's answer to the amended petition (Doc. 33), Hall's traverse to Respondent's answer (Doc. 38), the order, findings, and recommendations of the Magistrate Judge (Doc. 25), and lodged documents 1-10 (LD 1-10). For the reasons discussed, Hall's petition is DENIED.


On February 10, 2005, Hall was convicted by a jury of attempting to dissuade a witness (Cal. Pen. Code. § 136.1(c)(1)), spousal abuse (Cal. Pen. Code § 237.5(a)), assault with a firearm (Cal. Pen. Code § 245 (a)(2)), violation of a restraining order (Cal. Pen. Code § 273.6(a)), two counts of criminal threats (Cal. Pen. Code § 422), and having personally used a firearm in connection with the assault (Cal. Pen. Code § 12022.5). LD 1 at 1-7. Hall was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison. LD 1 at 8.


Hall filed an appeal with the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District. In its decision affirming the judgment, the Court of Appeal summarized the facts as follows:

[Hall] and the victim, J.H., are husband and wife. On June 10, 2004, they argued all day. The victim informed [Hall] she had thrown something of his away and [Hall] told her to stay out of his stuff. That evening, as the victim was getting ready to attend her son's graduation, [Hall] grabbed a pistol, pulled back the hammer, put the pistol to her left temple, and told her to give him his "fucking shit" or he would blow her head off. [Hall] eventually went outside and fell asleep in his truck.

On August 10, 2004, the victim came home for lunch. [Hall] had a computer on and began yelling at her, demanding that she identify the person with whom she was having an affair. The victim denied cheating on [Hall]. [Hall] demanded that she decode the "cookies" on the computer. She sat down at the computer but did not know what to do. Eventually, the victim stood up and said she was not going to put up with "this" any longer. She tried to walk away, but [Hall] grabbed her by the neck and choked her. He said he was going to "fucking kill" her if she did not tell him the truth. The victim began feeling weak. [Hall] threw her against a wall. [Hall] came over, picked the victim up and told her he was sorry. He laid her on a bed. [Hall] told the victim not to tell anyone what happened. Later that evening, [Hall] again told the victim not to tell anyone what he had done.

On August 18, 2004, the victim woke [Hall] up for work. He became angry and yelled at her for having slept in her daughter's bed. The victim explained that her daughter was scared and she laid down with her and fell asleep. The victim then laid on her own bed. [Hall] slammed his fists down on the bed, hitting the back of the victim's leg. She screamed and grabbed her leg. [Hall] said he was sorry. The victim told him to get away and not touch her. [Hall] went into a closet and said he was going to blow his head off. The victim asked him not to do it and [Hall] came out. The victim eventually left for work.

Later that day, the victim came home for lunch and found [Hall] asleep on the couch. The victim sat outside for a while. When it was time to go back to work, she grabbed her purse and things and [Hall] asked where she was going. She said back to work and started walking out. [Hall] came up behind her and said, "Don't you fucking walk out on me." He followed her to her car and said he was going to snap her head off. [Hall] said he knew the victim was cheating on him, called her a "no-good-for-nothing whore" and said he was not going to put up with it anymore. He told her not to tell the police or he would "blow every flicking cop's head off." He asked whom she was cheating with at work and said he would go to her place of work and "blow people's heads off" until she told him who it was. The victim got in her car and went back to work.

When the victim came home that evening, she again found [Hall] asleep on the couch. She went outside and called a girlfriend. [Hall] came outside and asked to whom she was talking. The victim hung up and said she was talking to "Nancy." She walked inside and [Hall] followed. [Hall] asked the victim what she wanted to do and she shrugged her shoulders and said she did not know. [Hall] raised his voice and demanded that she tell him what she wanted. She told [Hall] she was scared and did not want to live like that any longer.

[Hall] began gathering his things and the victim went back outside. [Hall] came out carrying his "stuff," including a rifle, and told the victim to get away from the "shop" beside the house or he would blow her head off. She went back inside. [Hall] came inside and told the victim to transfer some money into his account. She told him she could do that only when the bank is open. [Hall] then told her to withdraw money from the ATM. The victim drove to the bank and withdrew $200. She came back, gave [Hall] the money and said that was all she could get. He accused her of lying. He demanded the keys to her car, which she had locked. She refused. [Hall] said he would get in anyway and walked away. The victim jumped into the car and locked it. [Hall] ran up and began beating on the window. The victim drove away and [Hall] followed her in his truck. [Hall] pulled up beside the victim and started moving his vehicle toward her. He tried to cut her off and run her off the road. The victim eventually sped away. She pulled into a convenience store and spoke to a police officer. She obtained a police escort to the courthouse.

The victim obtained a temporary restraining order against [Hall] on August 24, 2004. Deputy William High took the restraining order to the home of [Hall]'s father. He saw [Hall] and said he was there to serve him. [Hall] fled to the backyard of the property. When Deputy High tried to follow, [Hall]'s father intervened and prohibited entry onto his property. Deputy High left the restraining order in a truck belonging to [Hall]'s father.

On August 27, 2004, Deputy Jason Nakamura responded to a 911 call at the victim's home and spoke with her. The victim was distraught, crying and shaking. She reported that [Hall] was on the property in violation of the restraining order. Nakamura spoke with [Hall], who volunteered that the restraining order was invalid because the address on it was incorrect. Nakamura checked the status of the restraining order and learned it was still in force. He tried to arrest [Hall], but [Hall] refused to cooperate. [Hall] was eventually taken into custody.

[Hall] was charged with the six offenses . . . as well as one count of stalking (Pen. Code, ยง 646.9, subd. (a)). The court later granted [Hall]'s motion to dismiss the stalking charge. At trial, the victim refused to testify and the jury was read the victim's preliminary hearing testimony. [Hall] testified on his own behalf. ...

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