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Sanderson v. Phillips

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 23, 2014

RICHARD SANDERSON, Petitioner,
v.
BOBBY PHILLIPS, Acting Warden, Respondent.

ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS; DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

EDWARD J. DAVILA, District Judge.

Petitioner has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254 challenging his sentence for a state conviction from Humboldt County Superior Court. For the reasons set forth below, the Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

Petitioner pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and first degree robbery, along with the personal use of a firearm. Petitioner was sentenced to state prison for a total determinate term of 22 years and 4 months on September 20, 2006.

Petitioner appealed his conviction. The California Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment on January 22, 2008, but vacated the sentence and remanded the matter for further proceedings in the trial court.[1] On June 15, 2009, the trial court again sentenced Petitioner to state prison for the total determinate term of 22 years and 4 months.

Petitioner appealed and separately filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the state appellate court. On February 16, 2011, the state appellate court affirmed the judgment, and summarily denied the petition. (Ans. Ex. F.) The California Supreme Court denied review on April 27, 2011, and summarily denied the petition on December 14, 2011. ( Id., Ex. H.)

Petitioner filed the instant federal habeas petition on March 30, 2012.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The following undisputed facts are taken from the probation officer's report[2]:

According to Eureka Police Department report #3C05-8768, on November 7, 2005, at approximately 2250 hours, officers were dispatched to 131 West Del Norte, apartment 19, on the report of a possible homicide. Victim Shawn Garfield was found laying in the apartment's hallway with two gunshot wounds to the chest and no vital signs. [Petitioner] was identified as the suspect by two witnesses.
At approximately 2324 hours Shawn Garfield was pronounced dead.
Witness, Brandon Proctor, was interviewed at the Eureka Police Department. During the interview, Proctor's eyes appeared dilated and his behavior was exaggerated and unpredictable. It was believed he was under the influence of methamphetamine. He was only able to focus on one subject for a short period of time and was unable to provide many details. He did not seem to want to answer questions.
Proctor identified his cousin, [Petitioner], as the shooting suspect. He was also able to identify [Petitioner] by a jail photograph. He stated [Petitioner] and Garfield had a problem with each other due to a conflict on the street.[3] Proctor said [Petitioner] was at the apartment when he arrived. [Petitioner] had a rifle which had a sawed off stock. [Petitioner] got scared and hid in the closet. Proctor said Garfield just wanted to talk to [Petitioner], but that [Petitioner] thought he and Garfield were going to "beat him down."
Proctor said he was standing in front of the closet in an attempt to keep Garfield from opening the door. [Petitioner] opened the door and saw Garfield. Proctor shut the door then [Petitioner] shot several shots through the door. [Petitioner] opened the door and screamed, "nooo!" Proctor fled the apartment. Proctor said he thinks ...

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