Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Valine v. Muniz

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 12, 2017

DANIEL JOSEPH VALINE, Petitioner,
v.
WILLIAM L. MUNIZ, Warden, Salinas Valley State Prison, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION

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

         Daniel Joseph Valine, a California state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus with this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Valine is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and incarcerated at Salinas Valley State Prison. Respondent has answered, and Valine has not replied.

         I. BACKGROUND/PRIOR PROCEEDINGS

         On May 17, 2013, Valine was charged with murder (Count 1) and first-degree robbery (Count 2). The information also alleged as to Count 1 the special circumstance that the murder was committed during the commission of a robbery and that Valine used and intentionally and personally discharged a firearm during the commission of the offense. Valine pled not guilty and denied the special circumstance and allegation. On October 10, 2013, Valine proceeded to a jury trial. On direct appeal of his conviction, the California Court of Appeal recounted the following facts underlying the charges against Valine and the evidence presented at trial:

Victim Kelly McClurg was fatally shot at his house, twice in the face and once in the chest over a dispute about stolen marijuana. Present at the shooting were defendant Daniel Joseph Valine, [Valine's] son Justin Valine, and Kailan James, who was the boyfriend of [Valine's] daughter. The question at trial was who pulled the trigger-[Valine] or James.
The son testified at trial to the following: [Valine] was the shooter; [Valine] emerged from the victim's house carrying a shotgun and James emerged carrying marijuana plants; and [Valine] fled the scene in a car (in which the son and James were the passengers).
Police recorded a conversation between [Valine], the son, and a sergeant. [Valine] said he was at the victim's house when the shots went off “in front of [him].” James fired the shots. [Valine] grabbed the shotgun from James. The son saw [Valine] grab the shotgun from James. [Valine] fled right afterward.

People v. Valine, No. C075411, 2014 WL 6925478, at *1 (Cal.Ct.App. Dec. 9, 2014).

         At the conclusion of trial, the jury found Valine not guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery but found him guilty of the lesser offenses of second-degree murder and petty theft. The jury also found the firearm enhancement to be true. The trial court subsequently sentenced Valine to a term of 15 years to life imprisonment on Count 1 plus 25 years to life on the firearm enhancement. Valine was also sentenced to a consecutive term of 90 days in county jail on Count 2 with credit for time served.

         Through counsel, Valine appealed his conviction, arguing that: 1) the testimony of his accomplice son was not sufficiently corroborated; 2) the court abused its discretion in admitting five inflammatory photographs of the victim's body; and 3) the consciousness of guilt instructions allowed the jury to draw irrational inferences of his guilt. On December 9, 2014, the California Court of Appeal issued a reasoned, unpublished opinion unanimously affirming the judgment against Valine in its entirety. Valine, 2014 WL 6925478, at *3. Valine petitioned for review in the California Supreme Court, which was summarily denied on February 11, 2015.

         Valine then filed in the California Superior Court a pro se habeas petition in which he claimed that: 1) the testimony of his accomplice son was not sufficiently corroborated; 2) his son's accomplice testimony was wrongfully induced in exchange for giving his son “favorable sentencing conditions;” and 3) the trial court erred in refusing to allow into evidence on redundancy grounds a statement Valine gave to law enforcement. On June 8, 2015, the superior court denied the petition with citations to In re Harris, 855 P.2d 391 (Cal. 1993) (denying claims that were part of the record and could have been, but were not, raised on direct appeal), and In re Waltreus, 397 P.2d 1001 (Cal. 1965) (stating that, where a petitioner's arguments were presented in a direct appeal to the California courts, a habeas corpus petition in the California courts “ordinarily cannot serve as a second appeal”).

         Again proceeding pro se, Valine filed a habeas petition in the California Supreme Court. This petition alleged that: 1) trial counsel was ineffective for not objecting to law enforcement's unlawful search and seizure of the cell phone records of his daughter, Melissa Valine, and her boyfriend, James; and 2) the statement of his son was unlawfully obtained because it was given when the son “was not in his right state of mind, after suffering a seizure.” The Supreme Court summarily denied the petition on June 22, 2016.

         While his habeas petition was pending in the Supreme Court, Valine timely filed a pro se Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus to this Court on May 5, 2016. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A). Briefing is now complete, and the case has been reassigned to the undersigned judge for adjudication.

         II. GROUNDS/CLAIMS

         In his pro se Petition before this Court, Valine argues that: 1) his son's accomplice testimony was not sufficiently corroborated; 2) trial counsel was ineffective for not moving on Fourth Amendment grounds to suppress evidence obtained from the cell phone records of his daughter and her boyfriend; and 3) his Fourth Amendment rights were violated because his son's statements to law ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.