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Crosby v. Arthur

United States District Court, C.D. California

September 19, 2019

BRANDON CROSBY, Petitioner,
v.
A. ARTHUR, Warden, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SHERI PYM, Magistrate Judge.

         I.

         INTRODUCTION

         On July 8, 2016, petitioner Brandon Crosby filed a First Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody (“First Amended Petition” or “FAP”). Petitioner challenges his October 24, 2014 conviction in the Los Angeles County Superior Court for assault of a peace officer causing great bodily injury.

         The First Amended Petition purports to raise five grounds for relief. Two of the grounds claim the trial court erred during petitioner’s waiver of counsel hearing. The other grounds are difficult to decipher, although they also reference petitioner’s waiver of counsel.

         For the reasons discussed below, petitioner’s claims do not merit habeas relief. Accordingly, the FAP will be denied with prejudice.

         II.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS[1]

         On May 28, 2014, Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Keelan Chan detained petitioner at the Wilmington Train Station for fare evasion. Petitioner resisted a pat down search and punched the deputy in the face, breaking his nose.

         Security Assistant Iris Avalos saw Deputy Chan fall and hit a metal stairway with blood gushing out his mouth. Avalos radioed for help as petitioner ran to a Denny’s restaurant. Responding to the call, Sheriff’s Deputies Aguiano and Atilano found petitioner hiding in a bathroom stall. Petitioner charged and kicked the deputies as he was “extracted” from the bathroom.

         In an interview conducted in compliance with Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), petitioner admitted punching Deputy Chan. Petitioner said that he “two pieced” the deputy – street slang for a one-two punch in rapid succession.

         A month before trial, the trial court granted petitioner’s motion pursuant to Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 95 S.Ct. 2525, 45 L.Ed.2d 562 (1975), and discharged the deputy public defender. Petitioner defended on the theory that he resisted arrest but never hit Deputy Chan. The jury returned a guilty verdict on count 1 for assault on a peace officer and acquitted on counts 2 and 3 for resisting an officer (Deputies Aguiano and Atilano). At the sentencing hearing, the trial court denied petitioner’s request to withdraw the Faretta waiver and sentenced petitioner to 17 years in state prison.

         III.

         PROCEEDINGS

         On October 6, 2014, following a trial, a jury found petitioner guilty of assault on a police officer (Cal. Penal Code § 245(c)) and found true a great bodily injury enhancement (Cal. Penal Code § 12022.7(a)). LD 1 at 134-35, 180. The trial court found that petitioner had suffered a prior violent felony conviction (Cal. Penal Code § 667(a)(1)) and a prior prison term (Cal. Penal Code § 667.5(b)). Id. The trial court sentenced petitioner to 17 years in prison. Id.

         Petitioner, then represented by counsel, appealed the judgment and sentence, raising three arguments: (1) the failure to advise petitioner of the nature of the charges against him and the potential penal consequences prior to accepting his Faretta waiver was not harmless error; (2) the trial court improperly denied petitioner’s request to withdraw his Faretta waiver at the sentencing hearing; and (3) a sentencing error. LD 4. On October 27, 2015, the California Court of Appeal, in a reasoned decision, struck the one-year prior prison term enhancement and so reduced the sentence to 16 years, but otherwise affirmed the judgment. LD 7.

         Petitioner filed a petition for rehearing in the Court of Appeal, which was denied without ...


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