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.

Bias v. Vannoy

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division

May 8, 2018

DAVID DIANTE BIAS LA. DOC #476635
v.
DARRELL VANNOY

         SECTION P

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          CAROL B. WHITEHURST, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Pro se petitioner David Diante Bias, a prisoner in the custody of Louisiana's Department of Corrections, filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2254 on August 9, 2017. Petitioner attacks his 2013');">13 conviction for one count of armed robbery, a violation of La. R.S. 4');">14:64, one court of armed robbery with the use of a firearm, a violation of La. R.S. 4');">14:64.3(A), and one count of convicted felon possessing a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon, a violation of La. R.S. 4');">14:95.1, and the forty-nine and one-half year sentence ultimately imposed thereon by the Sixteenth Judicial District Court, St. Mary Parish. This matter has been referred to the undersigned for review, report, and recommendation in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §636 and the standing orders of the Court.

         Statement of the Case

         David Diante Bias, was charged by bill of information with one count of armed robbery, a violation of La. R.S. 4');">14:64 (Count I); one count of armed robbery with the use of a firearm, a violation of La. R.S. 4');">14:64.3(A) (Count II); and one count of a convicted felon possessing a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon, a violation of La. R.S. 4');">14:95.1 (Count III). He initially pled “not guilty” on all counts. He filed a motion to form a sanity commission. On joint motion of counsel, the sanity hearing was submitted on the reports of the commission's members, with the trial court subsequently ruling that the defendant had the capacity to proceed to trial. Following trial, a unanimous jury found him guilty as charged.

         The State thereafter filed a habitual offender bill of information, seeking enhancement of Bias' armed robbery conviction, alleging he was a fourth-felony habitual offender. Prior to the habitual offender hearing and adjudication, the trial court sentenced him to imprisonment for thirty years at hard labor, without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence on count I, with an additional five years at hard labor, without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, due to his use of a firearm in connection with the armed robbery on count II, to run consecutive to the sentence imposed on count I. The trial court also sentenced him to fifteen years at hard labor on count III, to run concurrent with his sentences on counts I and II. Thereafter, pursuant to an amended habitual offender bill of information, which alleged that Bias was a third-felony habitual offender, he withdrew his “not guilty” plea and, after a Boykin examination, entered a guilty plea as a second-felony habitual offender, in accordance with La. R.S. 15:529.1(A)(1)(a) (prior to its amendment by 2010 La. Acts Nos. 911, § 1 and 973, § 2).

         The trial court vacated his previous sentence and subsequently sentenced him to imprisonment for forty-nine and one-half years at hard labor, without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, with credit for time served. Bias filed a motion to reconsider sentence, which the trial court denied.

         Petitioner timely filed a direct appeal into the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals on December 8, 204');">14, raising the following claims: (1) insufficient evidence; (2) trial counsel was ineffective for failing to present exculpatory evidence; (3) trial counsel was ineffective for allowing the case to proceed without first determining Bias' mental capacity at the time of the alleged offenses/failing to object to the Sanity Commission reports; and (4) excessive sentence. [Rec. Doc. 2');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12-17, p4');">p. 4-31] The First Circuit affirmed his sentence and conviction on April 24, 2015. State v. Bias, 204');">14-1588, 167 So.3d 102');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12');">167 So.3d 102');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12 (La.App. 1 Cir. 2015). On March 25, 2015, petitioner sought writs in the Louisiana Supreme Court [Rec. Doc. 2');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12-18, 26');">p. 26- Rec. Doc. 19, 4');">p. 4], which were denied on May 13');">13, 2016. State v. Bias, 2015-1051, 191 So.3d 1053');">191 So.3d 1053 (La. 2016).[1]

         Petitioner did not seek post-conviction relief.

         On August 9, 2017, petitioner filed the instant petition, making the following claims: (1) insufficient evidence; (2) trial counsel was ineffective for failing to present exculpatory evidence; (3) trial counsel was ineffective for allowing the case to proceed without first determining Bias' mental capacity at the time of the alleged offenses/failing to object to the Sanity Commission reports; and (4) trial counsel was ineffective for failing to move for suppression of evidence where police officer's entered motel room illegally.

         Law and Analysis

         I. Standard of Review - 28 U.S.C. § 2254

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) of 1996, 28 U.S.C. § 2254, governs habeas corpus relief. The AEDPA limits how a federal court may consider habeas claims. After the state courts have “adjudicated the merits” of an inmate's complaints, federal review “is limited to the record that was before the state court[.]” Cullen v. Pinholster, 13');">131 S.Ct. 13');">1388');">13');">131 S.Ct. 13');">1388, 13');">1398 (2011). An inmate must show that the adjudication of the claim in state court:

(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 in the State court proceeding.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1)-(2).

         A decision is “contrary to” clearly established Federal law “if the state court arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by . . . [the Supreme Court] on a question of law or if the state court decides a case differently than [the Supreme Court] has on a set of materially indistinguishable facts.” Dowthitt v. Johnson, 230 F.3d 733');">230 F.3d 733, 740-41 (5th Cir. 2000) (quoting Williams v. Taylor, 29 U.S. 362');">529 U.S. 362 (2000)). “The ‘contrary to' requirement refers to holdings, as opposed to the dicta, of . . . [the Supreme Court's] decisions as of the time of the relevant state court decision.” Id. at 740. Under the “unreasonable application” clause, a federal habeas court may grant the writ only if the state court “identifies the correct governing legal principle from . .. [the Supreme Court's] decisions but unreasonably applies the principle to the facts of the prisoner's case.” Id. at 741.

         Section 2254(d)(2) speaks to factual determinations made by the state courts. Federal courts presume such determinations to be correct; however, a petitioner can rebut this presumption by clear and convincing evidence. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1).

         Bias' petition is a mixed petition, containing three exhausted claims and one unexhausted claim. The unexhausted claim is without merit. The Court therefore will address the claim without requiring full exhaustion. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(2).

         II. Timeliness

         Title 28 U.S.C. §2244(d)(1)(A) provides a one-year statute of limitations for the filing of an application for writ of habeas corpus by persons, such as petitioner, who are in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. This limitation period generally runs from “...the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review...” 28 U.S.C. §2244(d)(1)(A).[2" name="FN2" id="FN2">2]

         The petitioner's conviction became final on August 11, 2016, when his time for seeking review in the United States Supreme Court on direct appeal expired. He did not seek post conviction relief. His petition was filed in this court on August 8, 2017. Thus, as 362 days accrued against § 2244(d)'s one year limit, this matter is timely.

         The State argues that tolling ceased in the instant case upon petitioner's failure to file a timely writ application with the Louisiana Supreme Court. This Court is not persuaded by that argument for the following reasons.

         Petitioner timely filed an appeal in the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals, who affirmed his sentence and conviction on April 24, 2015. State v. Bias, 204');">14-1588, 167 So.3d 102');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12');">167 So.3d 102');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12 (La.App. 1 Cir. 2015). Petitioner's Writ Application Filing Sheet was signed and dated by his counsel on May 25, 2015. [Rec. Doc. 2');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12-18, 26');">p. 26] The Supreme Court acknowledged receipt of petitioner's pleadings on May 29, 2015, noting that the filing was stamped without postmark. [Rec. Doc. 2');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12');">2');">12-16, p. 63');">p. 63] That court then addressed the merits of petitioner's writ, evidenced by the sole ground for Justice Knoll's dissent, her belief that the application was untimely.

         In Causey v. Cain, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal reiterated that “when the denial of an application is based on untimeliness, Louisiana courts routinely and unmistakable indicate so in their opinions.” 450 F.3d 601');">450 F.3d 601, 606-07 (citing Grillette v. Warden,273 F.3d 401');">273 F.3d 401, 405 n.3 (5th Cir. 2001). It went on to state that federal habeas courts must apply Louisiana's "mailbox rule" when determining the filing date of a Louisiana state court filing, and therefore such a document is considered "filed" as of the moment the prisoner "placed it in the prison mail system." Id. at 607. When that date cannot be gleaned from the state court record, Courts use ...


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.