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Haywood v. Rackley

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 22, 2016

PHARAOH BUB HAYWOOD, Petitioner,
v.
RONALD RACKLEY, Warden, Folsom State Prison, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION

          JAMES K. SINGLETON, JR. Senior United States District Judge.

         Pharaoh Bub Haywood, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus with this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Haywood is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and incarcerated at Folsom State Prison. Respondent has answered, and Haywood has replied.

         I. BACKGROUND/PRIOR PROCEEDINGS

         On April 30, 2012, Haywood was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm (count 1); negligently discharging a firearm (count 2); misdemeanor evading a peace officer (count 3); misdemeanor resisting a police officer (count 4); and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license (count 5). The information further alleged that Haywood had suffered a prior serious felony conviction. Haywood pled not guilty to all counts and denied the allegation. On direct appeal of his conviction, the California Court of Appeal laid out the following facts underlying the charges against Haywood:

On a rainy new year's evening in 2011, a Sacramento police officer noticed a Chevrolet "muscle car" driving with its lights off. The officer turned on the overhead lights of his police car, but the Chevrolet sped away. After a few minutes, the Chevrolet spun out, and the driver, who was [Haywood], fled on foot, jumping over some residential fences. The officer, who had been chasing [Haywood], stopped and called for backup when he heard a gunshot. The backup officers found [Haywood] a short time later in a nearby backyard. They could not find a firearm.
Within a few hours of [Haywood's] arrest, a forensic police investigator took gunshot residue test samples from [Haywood's] hands. The samples were examined by forensic criminalist Jason Hooks under an electron scanning microscope. On the sample taken from [Haywood's] right palm, Hooks found four particles of gunshot residue. From that finding, it was Hooks's opinion [Haywood] fired a weapon, handled a weapon, or was in the vicinity of a fired weapon. Eight days later, a gun was found in a backyard approximately 44 feet from where [Haywood] was arrested.

People v. Haywood, No. C071389, 2013 WL 3466811, at *1 (Cal.Ct.App. July 10, 2013).

         On May 1, 2012, Haywood proceeded to a jury trial. On May 9, 2012, the jury returned guilty verdicts on counts 3 through 5 but was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on counts 1 and 2. The trial court subsequently declared a mistrial as to those counts. On May 11, 2012, the court denied probation and sentenced Haywood to one year in county jail on count 3 along with concurrent jail commitments on counts 4 and 5.

         On July 9, 2012, the prosecutor filed a second amended information recharging Haywood with counts 1 and 2 as well as re-alleging the prior serious felony conviction. The same day, a second jury trial commenced. At the conclusion of that trial, the jury returned guilty verdicts on both counts. After Haywood waived his right to a jury trial on the prior conviction allegations, the court found them to be true. The court then sentenced Haywood to an aggregate state imprisonment term of 11 years.

         Through counsel, Haywood appealed his conviction, arguing that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel at trial for a variety of reasons and he was prejudiced by the cumulative effect of trial counsel's errors. The Court of Appeal unanimously affirmed the judgment against Haywood in an unpublished, reasoned opinion issued on July 10, 2013. Haywood, 2013 WL 3466811, at *3. Haywood petitioned the California Supreme Court for review, which was denied without comment on September 18, 2013.

         Haywood timely filed a pro se Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus to this Court on September 17, 2014. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A).

         II. GROUNDS/CLAIMS

         Haywood argues that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by: 1) failing to object to testimony on gunshot residue ("GSR") as unreliable; 2) not challenging the GSR expert's qualifications; 3) not effectively cross-examining the GSR expert; 4) failing to offer counter-expert testimony on the inadequacies of the GSR expert's analysis; and 5) successfully moving to exclude Haywood's misdemeanor convcitions and marijuana possession. He additionally ...


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