The opinion of the court was delivered by: Fred Van Sickle Senior United States District Judge
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Petitioner's Amended Petition For Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Ct. Rec. 6). Petitioner is proceeding pro se. Respondent is represented by Melissa Lipon, a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California.
At the time his petition was filed, Petitioner was in custody at Mule Creek State Prison pursuant to his August 20, 2004, conviction in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Sacramento, for voluntary manslaughter. The court sentenced Petitioner to an 11-year prison term. Petitioner challenges his sentence.
The California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, described the facts of this case as follows:
Ian bought drugs from defendant Limones and paid him with two $50 bills. When Limones discovered that the bills were counterfeit, he called Ian about the matter and asked him to come over to the house.
Ian complied, and he met with defendants in one of the bedrooms. Rene, who lived at the house, was also in the room. At some point, defendant Ruiz pulled out a gun and fired at least eight times, killing both Ian and Rene. Ian was also stabbed multiple times. Defendant Limones fled the house.
Defendant Ruiz later told another house resident, his then-girlfriend Melissa E., that he killed Ian because of "the counterfeit money" and that "someone had to do it." He said he killed Rene because she had allowed members from a rival gang into the house.
Defendant Ruiz called a friend, Rudy K., who came to the house and, with others, loaded the bodies into the trunk of a car, drove the car to an apartment complex, and left it there. The car was subsequently set on fire with the help of another individual, Edgar S.
At trial, numerous witnesses testified about the events that had transpired. Two of these witnesses, Melissa E. and Edgar S., had been prosecuted as accessories after the fact and testified pursuant to their plea bargains. A third witness, Rudy K., had previously been convicted of being an accessory after the fact and testified under a grant of use immunity.
Defendants sought to discredit these witnesses, and also suggested that another person was the true perpetrator of the murders. Defendant Limones argued that he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and that he had nothing to do with the murders.
People v. Limones, 2006 WL 933646, *1-2 (Cal. App. 3 Dist. 2006).
Petitioner was convicted following a jury trial of voluntary manslaughter (Cal. Health and Safety Code § 192(a)). On August 20, 2004, the trial court sentenced Petitioner to the upper term of 11 years in state prison.
Petitioner appealed from his conviction and sentence to the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District. On April 12, 2006, the California Court of Appeal affirmed Petitioner's ...