United States District Court, E.D. California
CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a state prisoner, is proceeding pro se with a petition for
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Petitioner challenges his 2012 conviction for vehicle theft
with enhancements for a prior conviction within the meaning
of California’s Three Strikes law and for three prior
prison terms, for which he received a nine-year prison term.
ECF No. 1 (“Ptn.”). Respondent filed an answer to
the petition, and petitioner filed a traverse. (ECF Nos. 11,
16.) Upon careful consideration of the record and the
applicable law, the petition is denied.
affirmation of the judgment on appeal, the California Court
of Appeal, Third Appellate District, set forth the relevant
factual background as follows:
On the morning of April 3, 2012, Jonathan Flores found that
his white Oldsmobile was not in its usual parking spot at his
apartment complex in Woodland. He had locked the car the
previous evening, but the driver’s side window was
rolled up only halfway. Flores had not given anyone
permission to take the vehicle. He spoke to the police and
reported the missing vehicle.
On April 7, 2012, Woodland Police Officer Brian Olson was on
patrol with his police dog, Mondo, when he saw defendant
driving the stolen Oldsmobile. Officer Olson looked at
defendant directly in his face as defendant drove past him in
the opposite direction. At the time, defendant was driving at
about 25 miles per hour, which was the lawful speed limit.
Once Officer Olson turned around to follow defendant,
however, defendant made a quick right turn and began to
accelerate rapidly. Defendant ran a red light and a truck had
to make a very sudden stop to avoid a collision. When
defendant reached a speed of about 100 miles per hour, the
officer decided to discontinue the pursuit because of his
concern for public safety. Officer Olson slowed down, but
continued in the same direction that he had seen defendant
While driving down the same road, Officer Olson saw a crowd
of people surrounding the front yard of a residence. It
turned out that the Oldsmobile he had been pursuing had
crashed into the front yard of a house, damaging a city water
main and pole. People came out of their houses because of the
noise they heard from the screeching tires and the loud
crash. People then observed defendant running down the
Matthew Holland, one of the observers, tackled defendant and
restrained him until Officer Olson reached the scene. At this
point, Holland let defendant go. As Officer Olson got closer,
he recognized defendant as the person he had seen driving the
stolen vehicle. Defendant got up and ran toward a fence.
Seeing this, Officer Olson commanded Mondo to chase after and
bite defendant. Officer Olson ordered defendant to stop, but
defendant jumped over the fence into the backyard of a
residence, almost getting bit by Mondo in the foot as he did
Officer Olson got to the fence and saw defendant running
across the backyard. He again commanded defendant to stop,
warning that if he did not stop, he would be bitten. Officer
Olson gave Mondo the bite command again and Mondo bit
defendant on the arm and shoulder, bringing defendant to the
ground. The officer then got control of defendant and brought
him into custody.
Officer Cristobal Lara arrived and led defendant to an
ambulance so that he could get treated for his bite wounds.
While escorting him, Officer Lara searched defendant’s
pockets and found a plastic bag that contained
methamphetamine. At the hospital emergency room, Officer
Olson questioned defendant about the vehicle. Defendant said
that he had bought the vehicle “for a couple hundred
dollars” from a person named “Slick” and
had received a pink slip recording the transaction. However,
defendant was unable to produce this pink slip.
Lodged Document (“Lod. Doc.”) 4 at
The facts as set forth by the state court of appeal are
presumed correct, 28 U.S.C. §2254(e)(1), and are
consistent with this court’s review of the record.
a jury trial in the Yolo County Superior Court, petitioner
was convicted of misdemeanor charges of reckless driving,
and run with property damage,  and resisting or obstructing a
peace officer. Lod. Doc. 4 at 4. The jury also returned a
verdict of not guilty on a charge of transportation of
methamphetamine,  and could not reach a verdict on a charge
for unlawfully taking a vehicle. Id. Accordingly, a
second trial was held for the unlawfully taking a vehicle
charge, which resulted in a guilty verdict. Id. In a
bifurcated proceeding, the trial court found the prior
conviction allegations, consisting of one prior serious
conviction within the meaning of California’s Three
Strikes Law,  and three prior prison terms,
be true. Id.
trial court sentenced petitioner to an aggregate term of nine
years imprisonment, which was composed of an upper three-year
term on the unlawfully taking a vehicle conviction, which was
doubled pursuant to California’s Three Strikes Law,
plus consecutive one-year enhancements for each of the three
prison term enhancements, and concurrent ninety-day sentences
for each of the three misdemeanor convictions. Id.
appealed the judgment to the California Court of Appeal,
Third Appellate District. Lod. Doc. 1. On November 13, 2013,
the court of appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment
and sentence. Lod. Doc. 4. Petitioner subsequently filed a
petition for review in the California Supreme Court. Lod.
Doc. 5. The Court summarily denied petitioner’s
petition on January 29, 2014. Lod. Doc. 6.
filed the instant federal habeas petition on March 16, 2015.
Ptn. Respondent filed an answer on May 26, 2015. ECF No. 11.
Petitioner filed a traverse on October 2, 2015. ECF No. 16.
statutory limitations of federal courts’ power to issue
habeas corpus relief for persons in state custody is provided
by 28 U.S.C. § 2254, as amended by the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA). The text of
§ 2254(d) states:
An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a
person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court
shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was
adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless
the adjudication of the claim-(1) resulted in a decision that
was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of,
clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme
Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented