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James Monroe v. A. Hedgpeht

February 22, 2011

JAMES MONROE,
PETITIONER,
v.
A. HEDGPEHT, CORPUS; DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY AND DIRECTING RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: M. James Lorenz United States District Court Judge

ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS; ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION; DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS ENTRY OF JUDGMENT

Petitioner James Monroe filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 that has been fully briefed. The matter was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Jan M. Adler for a Report and Recommendation ("Report") under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Civil Local Rule 72.3. The magistrate judge issued a Report recommending the petition be denied in its entirety. Petitioner timely filed objections. Respondent did not file an objection or a response to petitioner's objections.

Standard of Review

A federal court may not grant an application for writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in state custody with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in state court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim: (1) "resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States"; or (2) "resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). But the state court need not cite or even be aware of the controlling Supreme Court cases, "so long as neither the reasoning nor the result of the state-court decision contradicts them." Early v. Packer, 537 U.S. 3, 8 (2002).

Before a federal court may overturn a conviction resulting from a state trial . . . it must be established not merely that the [State's action] is undesirable, erroneous, or even 'universally condemned,' but that it violated some right which was guaranteed to the defendant by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Cupp v. Naughten, 414 U.S. 141, 146 (1973) Under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), in reviewing a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the district court "shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report . . . to which objection is made," and "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." Under this statute, "the district judge must review the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations de novo if objection is made, but not otherwise." United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir.) (en) (emphasis in original); see Schmidt v. Johnstone, 263 F. Supp. 2d 1219, 1225-26 & n.5 (D. Ariz. 2003) (applying Reyna-Tapia to habeas review). As previously noted, petitioner filed objections ("Obj.") to the Report.

Background

1. Factual Background

Petitioner does not object to the factual background contained within the California Court of Appeals decision but objects to the legal consequences of those facts. The facts as found by the state appellate court are as follows:

A. People's Case

1. L.Y.

In January 2005 L.Y. was working as a prostitute on El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego. L.Y. saw Monroe drive by her a couple of times in a burgundy Ford Expedition. He stopped his car in the middle lane and asked L.Y. if she wanted a ride. He said no one would see her if she hurried and got into the car. After Monroe denied being a cop, she got into his car. L.Y. told him her name was Sarah, and he told her his name was Yohan. L.Y. agreed to orally copulate and have sex with Monroe for $100.

Monroe drove to a residential area about 10 blocks away and parked his car on the street. L.Y. turned to her right to see if her passenger door was locked and felt something poking her in the side. Monroe had a gun pointed at her left rib cage and his penis was pulled out of his pants. Monroe told her, "Give me some head."

L.Y. screamed and asked Monroe, "[W]hat are you doing?" Monroe kept jabbing her with the gun and demanding that she "give [him] some head." L.Y. decided to cooperate with Monroe so he would not shoot her. She reached for a condom and Monroe told her not to use one because he did not like condoms. L.Y. performed oral sex on Monroe while he pointed the gun at her back, pushing down on her head with his other hand.

While L.Y. was orally copulating Monroe, he demanded that she "[g]ive [him] some pussy." L.Y. lied and told him she could not have sex because she had recently had an abortion. Once they were finished, Monroe put the gun in the pocket of the driver's side door.

L.Y. began crying. Monroe apologized and dropped her off in the same vicinity where he had picked her up. As Monroe was dropping her off, he moved the gun to the back seat of his car. He also told

L.Y. that next time he would give her money. L.Y., who was hysterical at this point, looked for a police officer, and then called her boyfriend on a pay phone and asked him to pick her up. Meanwhile, a man saw L.Y. and asked her if she wanted to call the police. She told him "no" because she had a warrant out for her arrest. L.Y. asked, and the man gave her a ride home.

The next day, L.Y. called S.T. and some other prostitutes to warn them not to get into Monroe's car. A few weeks later, when she was working as a prostitute, she saw Monroe's car. A few weeks after that, she heard that Monroe had raped S.T. Thereafter, L.Y. contacted the police and told them what happened to her.

L.Y. admitted she had prior misdemeanor convictions for prostitution and loitering for prostitution. She also believed there was a warrant out for her arrest because she failed to obtain a court-ordered AIDS test.

2. S.T.

[Footnote 2] [Footnote 2: S.T. was not present at trial and her preliminary hearing testimony was read to the jury. The propriety of the court declaring her an unavailable witness to allow that testimony to be read to the jury is discussed in more detail post.]

On February 14, 2005, S.T. parked her car on Ohio Street and walked to El Cajon Boulevard to engage in prostitution. Monroe pulled up next to her in a burgundy Ford Expedition and told her to get in. S.T. ignored Monroe and kept walking down El Cajon Boulevard. Monroe pulled up next to her again, got out of the car and said, "My money's not good enough?" S.T. replied, "No. Leave me alone." S.T., who is also Black, explained that, for a variety of reasons, most prostitutes "don't date Black guys."

S.T. turned around and began walking back to her car. As she was walking down Ohio Street, she saw Monroe walking towards her, near where she had parked her car. S.T. turned around again and began walking back to El Cajon Boulevard. Monroe approached her from behind, pointed a gun in her back and said, "Don't move. Don't make any sounds or I'll shoot you." Monroe forced S.T. into the back seat of his car and drove to the parking lot of an office building on Camino Del Rio South. All the while, Monroe pointed his gun at her.

Monroe told S.T. to pull down her pants. She started to pull them down but Monroe became impatient and yanked them down. Monroe climbed into the back seat with her, removed ...


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