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Robert Alvin Woolever, Jr v. Raul Lopez

August 2, 2011

ROBERT ALVIN WOOLEVER, JR., PETITIONER,
v.
RAUL LOPEZ, RESPONDENT.



ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Petitioner Woolever, a state prisoner, proceeds pro se with an amended petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner stands convicted of various offenses in the San Joaquin County Superior Court, case number SF100485A, for which he is currently serving a determinate prison term of 22 years. This matter is submitted for decision and the parties have consented to jurisdiction by United States Magistrate Judge.

II. BACKGROUND*fn1

Petitioner lived with his girlfriend, J.N. On Valentine's Day of 2006, the couple got into an argument while in the car. Petitioner slapped J.N. and she grabbed a crowbar from under the car seat to defend herself. Petitioner took the bar from her and threatened to "fuck [her] up and kill [her]" if she did not "shut up."

In April 2006, petitioner's young sons were visiting the apartment and petitioner took them out. When they returned, J.N. reported that the boys' mother had called to say that they were late in returning to her house. Defendant became angry and stomped on J.N.'s face.

J.N. and petitioner broke up on May 16, 2006. On May 19, petitioner called to say that he would come by the apartment to pick up his things, but J.N. told him that she would bring the items to work and he could pick them up there.

Despite this conversation, petitioner came to the apartment later that night. J.N. told him to "grab [his] stuff and get out." Petitioner went into the kitchen and began to put frozen meat from the freezer into a large garbage bag. When J.N. told defendant she had called his parole officer, defendant became angry and hit her in the head with the bag of meat. He also ripped the telephone from the wall.

J.N. called the police, and subsequently went to the hospital in an ambulance. She received eight stitches for the wound to her head.

Petitioner began to call J.N. at home and at work, as many as 20 times per day. In these calls, he often threatened to kill her and J.N. believed these threats. Several times J.N. received threatening calls from a woman who identified herself as petitioner's sister. On one occasion, petitioner threatened to come over to J.N.'s house, and J.N. saw him drive past the apartment complex.

An information charged petitioner with inflicting corporal injury on a cohabitant and causing great bodily injury (count 1), stalking J.N. between May 19 and June 4, 2006 (count 5), damaging a utility line (count 3), and two counts of making criminal threats, one occurring on or about May 19 (count 2) and one occurring on or about May 29 (count 4).

At trial, J.N. described these events, police officers described the state of the apartment on May 19, and a doctor described his treatment of J.N.'s injury. The prosecution introduced a letter petitioner wrote to J.N. after the preliminary hearing in which he asked her to say she had hurt herself by tripping over defendant's belongings. The prosecutor also introduced evidence about petitioner's prior acts of domestic violence against a former girlfriend, A.R.

The jury acquitted petitioner on the criminal threats charge alleged in count 2, but convicted him of all other counts as charged. The trial court found he had previously been convicted of domestic violence, had a prior conviction for making criminal threats, and had served a prison sentence for that offense. The court sentenced him to an aggregate prison term of 22 years.

Petitioner appealed to the California Court of Appeal, Third District. The state appellate court held that the one year sentence enhancement for the prior offense should be stricken but affirmed the judgment and sentence in all other respects. A ...


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