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Dale Dugger v. William Wiener

December 8, 2010

DALE DUGGER, PETITIONER,
v.
WILLIAM WIENER, ET AL.,
RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Barbara Jacobs Rothstein U.S. District Court Judge

ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

INTRODUCTION

Petitioner Dale Dugger is a California state parolee proceeding through counsel with an application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner challenges his 2005 conviction on charges of resisting arrest and attempting to inflict injury on a peace officer in the performance of his duty. Petitioner seeks relief based on allegedly erroneous evidentiary and procedural rulings made by the trial court. Having considered the petition, Respondent's answer, and the balance of the record, the court hereby finds and rules as follows.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On December 20, 2004, Petitioner was charged with: (1) assault with a deadly weapon upon a park ranger (Cal. Pen. Code, § 245(c)), attempting to commit violent injury upon peace officers in the performance of their duties (Cal. Pen. Code, § 241(b)), (2) seeking to resist an officer in the performance of duty by means of force or threat, and (3) resisting an officer in the performance of his duty (Cal. Pen. Code, § 148(a)(10)). On March 1, 2005, a jury found Petitioner guilty of all charges except Count I, assault with a deadly weapon, and he was sentenced to a total state prison term of two years.*fn1 The California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, affirmed the judgment on May 14, 2007. On July 25, 2007, the California Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition for review. On December 11, 2007, Petitioner filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in the United States District Court, Eastern District of California. (Dkt. No. 1.) He also filed a motion for the appointment of legal counsel (Dkt. No. 3), which was granted on January 24, 2008. (Dkt. No. 6.) Petitioner filed an amended petition on October 2, 2008. (Dkt. No. 21.) The case was reassigned to this court on June 18, 2010. (Dkt. No. 29.)

FACTS

Ranger McElheney and Ranger Safford, two Sacramento County park rangers, were patrolling the American River Parkway on the evening of October 12, 2004, following up on complaints that transients were "hanging out" and "drinking to the point of intoxication and becoming belligerent and making [bicycle commuters] feel[] very unsafe." (Dkt. No. 27, Lod. Doc. 1, Opinion of the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, filed May 11, 2007, at 1.) They approached a group of four people, which included Petitioner, and asked them to leave the bike trial. Id. Petitioner yelled profanities at the Rangers and refused to comply with their request. Id. The ensuing confrontation, which Petitioner and the Rangers describe differently, resulted in Petitioner's arrest and conviction. Id.

GROUNDS FOR RELIEF

Petitioner raises the following grounds for relief:

1. The trial court erred when it denied Petitioner's Batson/Wheeler motion;

2. The trial court erred when it excluded evidence of the Rangers' reputation for harassing homeless people;

3. The trial court erred when it failed to instruct the jury that the offenses in Counts 4 and 5 required specific intent; and

4. The prosecutor committed prejudicial misconduct during ...


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