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Price v. Martinez

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 28, 2016

LEO DALTON PRICE III, Petitioner,
v.
JOEL MARTINEZ, Warden, [1]Respondent.

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

          YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS United States District Judge

         Petitioner Leo Dalton Price III, [2] a state prisoner currently incarcerated at the Sierra Conservation Center, brings the instant pro se habeas action under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to challenge his 2012 conviction and sentence rendered in the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Having read and considered the papers filed in connection with this matter and being fully informed, the Court hereby DENIES Petitioner's claim in his petition for the reasons set forth below.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The California Court of Appeal described the relevant facts as follows:

The instant case arises out of an attack perpetrated by Price, [Kristina] Pelache, and Price's brother, Alex, on Price's second cousin, Greg. In 2011, Greg was homeless, and was sleeping in a shed on his 92-year-old aunt Carmen's property. Carmen is Price's grandmother. After the death of Price's father in 2011, Carmen told Price to not to come around her property anymore.
Price resented the fact that Carmen permitted Greg to stay on her property, but would not allow Price to come around. On May 20, 2011, around 4:00 a.m. while Greg was sleeping in the storage shed on Carmen's property, Price yanked the door open. Price told Greg he should leave because he was not supposed to be there. Price told Greg to shut up, then called someone on his cell phone and said, "He's in here, get in here."
After the cell phone call, Price's brother, Alex entered the shed and began punching Greg. Price also began punching Greg and kicking him in the face. At some point during the attack, Pelache entered the shed and said, "Grandma turned the light on." Alex and Price covered Greg's mouth so he could not make any noise. Price told Pelache to go wait in the car. Before she left the shed, she told Greg he was "getting what you deserve." Alex and Price hit Greg a few more times, then left. When Greg was alone, he discovered that his wallet, car keys, phone, flashlight, and a buck knife were missing from the shed.
As a result of the attack, Greg had cuts to his nose, lip and chest. The left side of his face was swollen, and the vision in his left eye was affected for weeks. Greg also lost several teeth, and had continuing headaches.
After the attack, Price sent letters to Greg and Carmen apologizing for his actions, and asking for forgiveness. At trial, Price and Pelache denied they went to Carmen's house, and denied they attacked Greg.

People v. Price, No. H038436, 2013 WL 5886233, *1 (Cal.Ct.App. Nov. 4, 2013) (brackets added).

         II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A Santa Clara County jury found Petitioner guilty of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury pursuant to California Penal Code § 245(a)(1), battery with serious bodily injury pursuant to California Penal Code §§ 242, 243 (d), first degree burglary pursuant to California Penal Code §§ 459, 460(a), and false imprisonment pursuant to California Penal Code §§ 236, 237.[3] 2CT 392-398; 414-415. In addition, the jury found that Petitioner had personally inflicted great bodily injury within the meaning of California Penal Code §§ 12022.7(a), 1203(e)(3), 667, and 1192.7. 2CT 395. The jury also found that Petitioner had suffered a prior conviction within the meaning of California Penal Code §§ 667(b)-(i), and 1170.12. 2CT 399

         On April 13, 2012, Petitioner was sentenced to serve 12 years in state prison. 2CT 472-474.

         On June 8, 2012, Petitioner appealed the judgment to the California Court of Appeal. 2CT 504-505.

         On November 4, 2013, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction. Price, 2013 WL 5886233, at *5; Resp't Ex. 3.

         On December 9, 2013, Petitioner filed a petition for review in the California Supreme Court. See People v. Price, Case No. S215075 (Dec. 9 2013).

         On January 15, 2014, the California Supreme Court denied the petition for review. Resp't Ex. 4.

         On December 3, 2014, Petitioner filed the instant habeas action in this Court. Dkt. 1.

         On January 29, 2015, this Court issued an Order to Show Cause. Dkt. 10. Respondent filed an Answer. Dkt. 12. Petitioner filed a Traverse. Dkt. 19. The matter is fully briefed and ripe for adjudication.

         III. ...


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