United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
MARCUS VERNELL COLEMAN D.O.C. # 322817
DARRYL VANNOY, ET AL.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KATHLEEN KAY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus filed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 by Marcus Vernell Coleman,
who is proceeding pro se in this matter. Coleman is an inmate
in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety
and Corrections and is currently incarcerated at the
Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana. Darryl
Vannoy, warden of that facility, opposes the petition. Doc.
13. Coleman has also filed a reply. Doc. 16.
petition is referred to the undersigned for review, report,
and recommendation in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636
and the standing orders of the court. For the following
reasons IT IS RECOMMEDED that the petition
for writ of habeas corpus be DENIED and
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
was charged by bill of information in the Fourteenth Judicial
District, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, with one count of
armed robbery, later amended to one count of armed robbery
with a firearm, a violation of Louisiana Revised Statute
§§ 14:64 & 14:64.3. Doc. 13, att. 1, p. 41. The
charge related to an allegation that Coleman had taken victim
Jill Dozart's purse at gunpoint after accosting her while
she was walking toward a restaurant. State v.
Coleman, 2010 WL 3903831, at *1-*2 (La. Ct. App. 3d Cir.
2010). Coleman proceeded to trial by jury and was convicted
as charged on April 3, 2007. Doc. 13, att. 1, pp. 195-97. He
was then billed as a habitual offender. On October 17,
2007, a habitual offender hearing was held. There Coleman
admitted to being a fourth felony offender and was sentenced
to a mandatory minimum prison term of 99 years, without
benefit of probation or suspension of sentence. Doc. 13, att.
2, pp. 207-19.
sought review in the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal,
raising the following assignments of error:
1. There was insufficient evidence to support the
2. The use of hearsay testimony at his trial violated
Coleman's rights under the Confrontation Clause.
Coleman, 2010 WL 3903831, at *1-*4. The court
reviewed both of these claims, as well as an error patent
relating to the trial court's failure to specify that the
sentence be served without benefit of parole. Id. It
determined that there was no merit to the sufficiency of
evidence claim, that the hearsay claim could not be addressed
because it was not objected to at trial, and that the error
patent, although rendering the sentence illegally lenient,
did not warrant relief because it had not been raised as
error. Id. Coleman sought writs in the Louisiana
Supreme Court, which denied same on March 4, 2011. State
v. Coleman, 58 So.3d 474 (La. 2011). He did not file a
petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme
Court. Doc. 1, p. 3.
State Collateral Review
filed a pro se application for post-conviction relief in the
trial court on February 13, 2012. See doc. 13, att.
4, pp. 162-85 (memorandum in support of application). There
he claimed ineffective assistance of counsel, based on trial
counsel's failure to object to statements violating his
rights under the Confrontation Clause and failure to use a
police report to impeach a witness. Id. He filed a
supplement to the application on May 28, 2013, claiming that
his right to due process was violated when (1) the state
knowingly presented false testimony (Napue
violation) and (2) he was convicted based on an
unconstitutional statute/improper jury instructions.
Id. at 70- 84. The trial court denied the
application on June 20, 2014, concluding that Coleman had
already raised these issues on appeal and noting that the
court had denied an application for post-conviction relief in
November of 2008 while the petitioner's appeal was
pending. Id. at 105. Coleman sought review in the
Third Circuit which granted the writ on November 5, 2014, and
remanded the case for a ruling on the merits of Coleman's
claims. Id. at 112.
trial court ruled on April 13, 2016, noting that a hearing
was scheduled for the following month but that the court no
longer deemed it necessary. Doc. 13, att. 5, pp. 93-94. It
then determined that Coleman failed to show a basis for
relief under any of his claims. Id. Coleman sought
review in the Third Circuit, which granted the writ and
determined that the trial court had erred and that Coleman
had shown that he had received ineffective assistance on his
failure to object to Confrontation Clause violation claim.
Id. at 184. Accordingly, it set aside Coleman's
conviction and sentence and remanded the matter for a new
trial. Id. It made no statement regarding the other
claims. Id. The state sought review with the
Louisiana Supreme Court, which reversed the Third
Circuit's ruling on April 16, 2018, because it determined
that Coleman could not demonstrate adequate prejudice from
counsel's performance. State v. Coleman, 241
So.3d 297 (La. 2018). Accordingly, it reinstated the
petitioner's conviction and the trial court's ruling
on his application for post-conviction relief. Id.
Federal Habeas Petition
filed the instant petition in this court on April 22, 2018.
Doc. 1; see Id. at 15 (providing date of mailing).
Here he raises the following claims:
1. Ineffective assistance based on counsel's failure to
object to statements introduced in violation of Coleman's
rights under the Confrontation Clause.
2. Evidence was insufficient to sustain the verdict.
3. His rights under the Confrontation Clause were violated.
4. Counsel was ineffective for failing to impeach a witness.
5. The state knowingly presented false evidence.
6. The statute creating the offense is unconstitutional.
Doc. 1, att. 2. ...