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James Giger v. Diaz

United States District Court, E.D. California

November 4, 2019

JESS ALBERT JAMES GIGER, JR., Petitioner,
v.
RALPH DIAZ, Secretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION

          JAMES K. SINGLETON, JR., SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Jess Albert James Giger, Jr., a former state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus with this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The Petition indicates that Giger was discharged to parole prior to the filing of the Petition.[1] Respondent has answered, and Giger has not replied.

         I. BACKGROUND/PRIOR PROCEEDINGS

         On May 17, 2016, Giger was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon (a knife and a bicycle chain) in connection with a 2016 altercation with a security guard. The information further alleged as to both counts that Giger personally used a deadly weapon. On direct appeal of his conviction, the California Court of Appeal laid out the following facts underlying the charges against Giger:

The victim was a uniformed security guard, patrolling near a pizza restaurant in the afternoon. He saw two men sleeping on a nearby hill and asked them to move. They said okay.
The victim returned to his rounds, but when he came back, the two men were again sleeping on the hill. The victim again asked them to leave. One of the loiterers said he was just sneaking in a nap but would leave. Ten minutes later, the men still had not left. The victim told them it was time to go.
At that point, [Giger] arrived on his bike and rode between the victim and the two men, staring at the victim as he left. When [Giger] returned, he yelled to the two men that they did not have to listen to the victim, who was not a security guard.
The victim approached [Giger] and [Giger] said, “Oh, man, I'm just looking out for their best interest. I just wanted them to have a chance. I didn't want you to send them to jail.” The victim tried to take [Giger's] picture, but [Giger] pushed the phone away as the victim held it up.
[Giger] then punched the victim in the temple. The victim wrestled [Giger] to the ground and tried to pin him down. [Giger] had his bike in front of him, and as the two struggled on the ground, the bike stayed between them. During the struggle, the victim held down a button on his phone to dial 911.
At some point, the victim saw [Giger] had a silver multi-tool in his hand. [Giger] was wielding it like a knife and tried to stab the victim with it. The victim received stab marks on his boot and bruises on his foot.
After he saw the tool, the victim stood up. At some point, he was able to take the tool from [Giger] and throw it toward a nearby building. [Giger] then sat on the ground as though he was out of energy.
The victim turned his back and talked with the 911 operator. He then heard the two loiterers say, “No, no, don't do it.” The victim turned to see [Giger] wielding the chain from his bike and a bike seat.
[Giger] swung the chain at the victim's face. The victim blocked with his arm, leaving a welt and swelling that took several weeks to heal.
The victim saw another security guard and hollered and waved. Seeing the other security guard, [Giger] put his chain and seat back on his bike and rode off. After he was arrested, the victim identified [Giger] to the police. When he did, [Giger] asked, “Are you even a fucking security guard?”

People v. Giger, No. C083347, 2019 WL 394633, at *1-2 (Cal.Ct.App. Jan. 31, 2019).

         Giger pled not guilty and proceeded to a jury trial on July 11, 2016. At the conclusion of trial, the jury found Giger guilty as charged. The trial court subsequently ...


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