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Garrett Morgan Crane v. Domingo Uribe

December 7, 2011

GARRETT MORGAN CRANE, PETITIONER,
v.
DOMINGO URIBE, JR., WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

I. INTRODUCTION

Crane, a state prisoner, proceeds pro se with a first amended petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. At issue are his 2005 convictions for receiving stolen property and resisting a peace officer in the Siskiyou County Superior Court, case number 05-438, for which he was sentenced to seven years in prison.

II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Late in the evening on February 23, 2005, Crane went to the home of his friend, Kristopher Day, and borrowed Day's van. When Crane returned in the van the next morning it was full of boxes of computers and computer-related equipment. Crane told Day he had broken into Computer Concepts and taken the equipment. Day kept a few of the items and then helped Crane move the rest of the equipment to a storage unit.*fn1

The Yreka Police Department responded to the burglary at Computer Concepts and observed a broken padlock on the exterior of the store and an open door. The inside of the store appeared to have been ransacked. Police took photographs and collected footprints.

On March 3, at approximately 11:00 p.m., Patrol Deputy Mack Mcdonald of the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department observed a car parked at the Budget Storage in Montague. McDonald saw Crane, whom he recognized, and a female standing in front of a vehicle parked next to an open storage unit; he noticed that they saw him and thought they were behaving strangely. Inside the open storage unit were a large quantity of computer-related equipment and blank business checks stolen from Computer Concepts. McDonald and an assisting sergeant detained Crane and McLain.

Crane was arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen property and transported to the Siskiyou County Jail. He had a camera attached to his belt which was later determined to have been stolen from Computer Concepts. Once inside the receiving area of the jail, Crane refused to comply with requests by two correctional employees.

A jury convicted Crane of receiving stolen property and two misdemeanor counts of resisting a peace officer (one for each correctional employee involved). The jury also found true for sentence enhancement purposes that he had incurred numerous prior felony convictions. The trial court sentenced him to an aggregate term of seven years in prison.

Crane appealed his convictions to the California Court of Appeal, Third District, where judgment was affirmed in an unpublished opinion. People v. Crane, No. C050495, 2007 WL 1053506 (Cal. Ct. App. 3rd Dist. April 10, 2007). The California Supreme Court granted a petition for review but ultimately dismissed the matter. Crane sought habeas corpus relief in state court which was likewise denied.

III. GROUNDS FOR RELIEF

In his first amended federal petition, Crane claims (A) the trial court failed to instruct the jury with the definition of great bodily injury; and (B) the prosecutor knowingly used perjured testimony in violation of the rule of Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264 (1959).

IV. APPLICABLE LAW FOR FEDERAL HABEAS CORPUS

An application for writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody under judgment of a state court can be granted only for violations of the Constitution or laws of the United States. 28 U.S.C. §2254(a); see also Peltier v. Wright, 15 F.3d 860, 861 (9th Cir. 1993); Middleton v. Cupp, 768 F.2d 1083, 1085 (9th Cir. 1985) (citing Engle v. Isaac, 456 U.S. 107, 119 (1982)). This petition for writ of habeas corpus was filed after the effective date of, and thus is subject to, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"). Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 326 (1997); see also Weaver v. Thompson, 197 F.3d 359 (9th Cir. 1999). Under the AEDPA, federal habeas corpus relief is also precluded for any claim decided on the merits in state court proceedings unless the state court's 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 ...


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