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Oak v. Sisto

November 17, 2010

DARRYL OAK, PETITIONER,
v.
D.K. SISTO, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

INTRODUCTION

Petitioner, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner pled guilty to second degree murder in 1987 and is serving a state prison term of 15 years to life. He challenges the August 17, 2006 decision by the Board of Parole Hearings (hereinafter "Board") finding him unsuitable for parole. Petitioner claims that the Board's action was not supported by "some evidence" and therefore violated his right to federal due process. Upon careful consideration of the record and the applicable law, the undersigned will recommend that the petition for habeas relief be denied.

PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

I. Offense and Plea

In its unpublished memorandum and order affirming the Board's 2006 decision, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, provided the following factual summary:

In 1987 Darryl Oak pleaded guilty to second degree murder of Donald Karstetter (Karstetter), his stepfather. The court sentenced Oak to 15 years to life in state prison. . . .

The facts of the crime are: Karstetter gave Oak a ride to his apartment on the afternoon of March 15, 1987. Two border patrol agents heard screaming coming from the apartment parking lot. They saw Karstetter holding his abdomen and Oak holding a knife. One agent drew a gun and ordered Oak to drop the knife and get down. Karstetter died as a result of being stabbed six times with a 10-inch knife. Oak had drawn a knife on his brother in January 1986 which resulted in his arrest and hospitalization.

(Answer, Ex. D at 1-2.)

When questioned about his crime at the 2006 parole hearing, petitioner was asked whether he had "had any kind of words with Mr. Karstetter" or any dispute with him prior to stabbing him. Petitioner answered that he had not.

Presiding Commissioner Garner: Any indication that Mr. Karstetter was in possession of any kind of a weapon?

Inmate Oak: No, sir.

Presiding Commissioner Garner: And was there anything that Mr. Karstetter said that caused this crime to occur?

Inmate Oak: No, sir.

Presiding Commissioner Garner: And let me then ask what was going on that caused you to stab him?

Inmate Oak: Um, I don't believe I actually remember stabbing. . . .

I saw this blood coming out of him, and I looked and there was a knife in my hands, ...


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