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Williams v. Uribe

United States District Court, C.D. California

April 27, 2017

ERIC J. WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
v.
DOMINGO URIBE, Warden, Respondent.

          ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION

          JOSEPHINE L. STATON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On March 14, 2017, Eric J. Williams (“Petitioner”) filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (“Petition”). (Dkt. 1.) The Petition is the second habeas petition that Petitioner has filed challenging his 2009 convictions for second degree robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in the Superior Court for Los Angeles County, case no. NA076870. (Petition at 3.[1])

         Under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, a habeas petition filed by a prisoner in state custody “must” be summarily dismissed “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court[.]” For the reasons set forth below, the Petition must be dismissed without prejudice as a second or successive petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b).

         I.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In August 2012, Petitioner filed a habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in this Court, case no. CV-12-06818-JLS-AN.[2] The Court found as follows:

On December 2, 2009, Eric Jerome Williams (“Petitioner”) was convicted of two counts of second degree robbery (CAL. PENAL CODE § 211) and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery (CAL. PENAL CODE § 182(a)(1)) following a jury trial in the California Superior Court for Los Angeles County (case no. NA076870). The jury also found true allegations that, in the commission of both robberies, Petitioner personally used a handgun (CAL. PENAL CODE § 12022.53(b)), and that in the commission of one of the robberies Petitioner also personally and intentionally discharged a handgun (CAL. PENAL CODE § 12022.53(c)). Petitioner was acquitted of two counts of attempted murder and one count each of attempted robbery and robbery.
In a bifurcated proceeding, the jury found true allegations that the robberies were committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang, with the specific intent to further, promote, or assist in criminal conduct by gang members (CAL. PENAL CODE § 186.22(b)(1)). Petitioner was sentenced to a term of 35 years in state prison.
Petitioner appealed the judgment of conviction to the California Court of Appeal, raising the first two claims he raises in the pending Petition. On February 17, 2011, in an unpublished opinion, the state court of appeal affirmed the judgment of conviction and rejected Petitioner's claims on the merits (case no. B221139).
The California Supreme Court denied review of the court of appeal's decision without comment or citation (case no. S191822).
Petitioner subsequently … [filed] a habeas petition filed with the California Supreme Court, which was denied without comment or citation (case no. S201966).

Williams v. Bitter, Case No. CV-12-06818-JLS-AN, Dkt. 19 at 1-2 (report and recommendation) (internal citations to the record omitted).

         Like the present Petition, the August 2012 petition challenged Petitioner's 2009 convictions for second degree robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, arguing: (1) that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting gang evidence in a bifurcated trial; (2) that the trial court deprived him of his Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause rights; (3) that the prosecution failed to disclose evidence favorable to the defense in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963); (4) that he received ineffective assistance of counsel on direct appeal because his counsel failed to raise the Brady claim; (5) that the trial court improperly sentenced him under California Penal Code § 12022.53(c). Williams, Case No. CV-12-06818-JLS-AN, Dkt. 19. This Court denied the petition on September 11, 2013. Id., Dkt. 22 (order adopting report and recommendation).

         The instant Petition raises at least four claims for relief: (1) Petitioner is actually innocent and there was insufficient evidence to sustain the convictions (Petition at 2, 6); (2) Petitioner was “subjected to prosecutorial misconduct, abuse of process, unlawful attachment and vindictive prosecution” (Id. at 2); (3) Petitioner's sentence violated due process (Id.); and (4) Petitioner was deprived of a fair trial when ...


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