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Sidiqi v. E. Valenzuela

United States District Court, S.D. California

June 3, 2015

KHAWAJA M. SIDIQI Petitioner,
v.
E. VALENZUELA, Warden, Respondent.

ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

MARILYN L. HUFF, District Judge.

On August 4, 2014, Petitioner Khawaja M. Sidiqi ("Petitioner"), a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. No. 1.) On October 17, 2014, Respondent filed a response to the petition. (Doc. No. 7-1.) On February 12, 2015, Petitioner filed a traverse. (Doc. No. 12.) On February 17, 2015, the magistrate judge issued a report and recommendation to deny the petition for writ of habeas corpus. (Doc. No. 13.) On March 26, 2015, Petitioner filed an objection to the report and recommendation. (Doc. No. 14.) After careful consideration, the Court denies the petition for writ of habeas corpus, overrules Petitioner's objection, and adopts the magistrate judge's report and recommendation.

Background

I. Procedural History

On April 22, 2010, the San Diego District Attorney's Office filed an information charging Petitioner with one count of carjacking in violation of California Penal Code (Penal Code) § 215(a). (Doc. No. 8-1 at 74.) The District Attorney's Office also alleged that Petitioner used a deadly and dangerous weapon during the commission of the carjacking in violation of Penal Code § 12022(b)(1) and § 1192.7(c)(23). (Id.) Before trial, Petitioner rejected the District Attorney's offer for a plea bargain that would have resulted in a three-year sentence. (Doc. No. 8-29 at 52.)

On September 22, 2010, a jury in San Diego Superior Court convicted Petitioner of carjacking. (Id. at 52.) The jury also found that Petitioner used a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony. (Id.) The superior court sentenced Petitioner to an aggregate prison term of six years, consisting of a five-year sentence for the carjacking conviction plus a consecutive one-year term for use of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony. (Id. at 69, Doc. No. 8-10 at 2.) Petitioner appealed his conviction to the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One. (Doc. No. 8-7.) The state appellate court affirmed Petitioner's conviction. (Doc. No. 8-10.)

On December 27, 2012, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in San Diego Superior Court. (Doc. No. 8-13.) Petitioner contended that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to inform him that the prosecution allegedly offered Petitioner a plea bargain that would have resulted in a two-year sentence. (Doc. No. 8-13 at 4.) On December 6, 2013, the San Diego Superior Court held a post-conviction evidentiary hearing to determine whether the District Attorney's Office made Petitioner a plea offer for a two-year sentence. (Doc. No. 8-29.) After hearing testimony, the superior court concluded that the District Attorney's Office did not make a plea offer for a two-year sentence. (Id. at 52.) On December 6, 2013, the San Diego Superior Court denied Petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus. (Id. at 54.)

On March 4, 2014, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the state appellate court. (Doc. No. 8-34.) On April 8, 2014, the state appellate court denied the petition. In a reasoned opinion, the state appellate court took judicial notice of the evidentiary hearing and concluded that the prosecution never offered Petitioner a plea bargain for a two-year sentence. (Doc. No. 8-35.) On April 21, 2014, Petitioner filed a habeas corpus petition with the California Supreme Court. On June 18, 2014, the California Supreme Court summarily denied the petition. (Doc. No. 8-37).

On July 2, 2014, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. No. 1.) Petitioner again asserts that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to inform him that the prosecution offered Petitioner a plea bargain that would have resulted in a two-year sentence. (Id. at 6.)

II. Factual History

The Court summarizes the following relevant facts from the California Court of Appeal opinion affirming Petitioner's direct appeal of his conviction. (See Doc. No. 8-10.) This Court, pursuant to § 2254(e)(1), presumes the following facts to be correct. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1).

Petitioner was 24 years old at the time of the offense. Petitioner legally immigrated from Afghanistan to the United States in 2000. Around 10:30 p.m. on April 5, 2010, Petitioner entered a cab. During the initial encounter with the cab driver, Petitioner hid his left hand behind his back. The cab driver twice asked Petitioner what was behind his back. Eventually, Petitioner lifted his shirt. A 10 to 12-inch bladed knife slid onto the street. The cab driver identified the knife in a photograph at trial.

The cab driver exited the cab. He stood outside of the left rear passenger door where Petitioner remained seated. The cab driver asked Petitioner what he was planning to do with the knife. Petitioner suddenly exited the cab, picked up the knife, and "raged" at the cab driver who was standing five feet away from Petitioner. Petitioner held his left hand "up in an attack." As the cab driver retreated, Petitioner told him he had "better run" because the cab driver "[didn't] want to be a part of what was going on tonight."

Petitioner ran back to the cab and sat in the driver's seat. The cab driver watched from less than 20 feet away as Petitioner drove off in the cab. The cab driver's backpack, paper work, cell ...


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