United States District Court, E.D. California
K. SINGLETON, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Manafov, a state prisoner represented by counsel, filed a
Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus with this Court pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Manafov is in the custody of the
California Department of Corrections and incarcerated at
Salinas Valley State Prison. Respondent has answered, and
Manafov has replied.
August 15, 2011, Manafov and his co-defendant, Eugene Rice,
Jr., were charged with second degree robbery (count 1). The
consolidated information further charged Manafov with another
count of second degree robbery (count 2) and with personally
using a firearm during the commission of the robberies in
counts 1 and 2. Manafov and Rice proceeded to a joint jury
trial before two different juries. On direct appeal of his
conviction, the California Court of Appeal laid out the
following facts underlying the charges against Manafov and
the evidence presented at trial:
7 Robbery at Penryn Valero (Manafov only)
Sukhwant Grewal was working as a cashier at the Valero gas
station in Penryn early in the morning of August 7, 2010. At
about 1:45 a.m., Manafov entered and robbed him. Manafov wore
a sports cap covered with a black hood. He took a burrito
from the freezer, put it on the counter, and handed Grewal
money. When Grewal made change, Manafov showed Grewal a gun
and demanded he hand over all the money, in a bag. A video
surveillance camera captured the robbery.
Grewal called 911 and the police arrived in about five
minutes. Grewal was unable to select the robber from a
lineup, but was able to identify a similar gun. The robber
did not appear intoxicated.
10 Robbery at Colfax Chevron
August 9, 2010, Rice, Manafov, and Jarnee
RiversFN2 left Oakland and went to Sacramento.
While there, Rice said they were going to "hit a lick,
" meaning commit a robbery. They drove on Interstate 80
FN2. At the time of the robberies, Rivers was in a romantic
relationship with Manafov and was pregnant with his child. At
trial, she testified she was still in love with him, although
by the time of trial she was pregnant with another man's
after midnight on August 10, 2010, the clerk at the Penryn 76
gas station and his girlfriend saw a car approach and slow
down. It first stopped near the entrance and then drove to
the back where it stopped near an open door and the car's
occupants looked inside. The car was red with no license
plates. There were three occupants who all appeared to be
male. The driver wore a fur-lined hood and the person in back
wore black. The car sputtered off, as if the driver were
unskilled in driving a manual transmission, and entered the
freeway going east. The clerk and his girlfriend thought it
was suspicious and called the police.
McIntyre was working at the Colfax Chevron station that
morning. The station is about 100 yards from the interstate.
A male customer, Manafov, entered around 1:00 a.m. and
selected a beverage. As McIntyre took his money and opened
the cash drawer, Manafov produced a revolver. He pointed it
at McIntyre and told him to empty the registers, giving
McIntyre a small black plastic bag for the money. The robber
was in his 20's and wore a black-hooded sweatshirt over a
cap with red on it. He repeatedly told the clerk to hurry up,
that he was not fast enough. The robber had a foreign accent.
As the robber turned to leave he told McIntyre to "have
a nice day." The robber took $1, 377. McIntyre
identified Manafov as the robber from a photographic lineup.
Jack Hickey was on patrol and responded to the early morning
call from the Chevron station. He watched the surveillance
video of the robbery. It showed a vehicle pull in the north
end of the station and park. A white male passenger walked to
the store. The driver wore a white baseball cap. The car was
red with no license plate. It had a DMV sticker on the left
rear window, and a sunroof. Hickey gave a description of the
suspect vehicle to dispatch. The suspect was wearing a red
Oakland A's cap, a black-hooded sweatshirt, and black
pants and had a large wristwatch. He had a black revolver and
a black plastic bag for the money.
a half hour after the dispatch, a CHP officer saw a red sedan
with no license plates, a sunroof, and three people inside.
He followed it, waiting for backup. The car took the Kingvale
exit and stopped, and then got back on Interstate 80.
backup arrived, the officers conducted a felony stop. Manafov
was the driver, Rice the front passenger, and Rivers was in
the rear seat. All three were arrested. Rice was wearing a
white tank top with a blue outer shirt; both Rivers and
Manafov were dressed in black. Manafov did not appear to be
under the influence of drugs.
white baseball caps were seized from the car. The white cap
was later found to contain hairs consistent in length to
Rice's hair. There were multiple items of clothing in the
trunk, including a jacket with a fur hood, as well as license
plates. A loaded, black revolver was found under the hood of
the car. A black plastic bag with money was under the rear
seat. An employee time card and a traffic ticket, both in
Rice's name, were also found in the car.
testified that she was asleep during part of the drive, but
awoke when Manafov and Rice changed places. She heard the
trunk and the hood slam. Rice got in the passenger seat and
handed her a black bag and told her to put it under the seat.
Bill Summers interviewed Rivers. In the first interview,
Rivers said she fell asleep outside Sacramento. At one point,
the car pulled over and she heard the trunk slam. Rice was
wearing a white shirt. She called him "Bra"
(meaning brother) as he was like a brother to her. Someone
passed her a black bag with money. Both Rice and Manafov
drove; she did not see who went in the gas station.
before this interview ended, Rivers asked what was going to
happen to her. The detective said she would be held for
investigation of armed robbery. When the tape was turned off,
Rivers told the detective that she saw Manafov, whom she
referred to as Babe, come out of the Chevron. The tape was
turned on and Rivers repeated it. She said Rice drove; she
did not see anything until he pulled off and he and Manafov
switched places and she heard the slamming. Rice passed her
the bag. After this interview, as Summers walked Rivers to
booking, she said she remembered something. Summers turned on
the tape again and Rivers said that while in Sacramento, Rice
said they were going to "hit a lick."
trial, the parties stipulated to two uncharged robberies
committed by Manafov; this evidence was before only
Manafov's jury. On July 26, 2010, at 4:20 a.m., Manafov
entered a Valero gas station in West Sacramento and brought
merchandise to the counter. He pointed a black revolver at
the clerk and demanded money. After the clerk gave Manafov
money, he left. Manafov's fingerprints were on the
a.m. that same day, Manafov entered a AM/PM minimart in Davis
and brought merchandise to the counter. Again, he pointed a
black revolver at the clerk and demanded money. The clerk
gave him money from the register and Manafov left. His
fingerprints were on the merchandise he took to the counter.
two months after the robberies while Manafov and Rice were in
jail, an officer saw Rice approach a door between housing
units and put a piece of paper through the door. Another
inmate approached and pulled out the note. He set it on a
table and ...