United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
RANDALL WAYNE WOMACK, JR. #359074
STATE OF LOUISIANA
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. HORNSBY U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Wayne Womack, Jr. (“Petitioner”) and three other
men participated in a home invasion robbery of two victims. A
Bossier Parish jury convicted Petitioner of armed robbery
(10-2 vote) and attempted armed robbery (unanimous verdict).
Petitioner was sentenced to 50 years for the armed robbery
and 15 years (concurrent) for the attempted armed robbery.
His convictions and sentences were affirmed on appeal.
State v. Womack, 109 So.3d 418 (La.App. 2d Cir
2013), writ denied, 123 So.3d 163 (La.). He also
pursued claims in a state post-conviction application. He now
presents those post-conviction claims in his federal habeas
corpus petition. For the reasons that follow, it is
recommended that his petition be denied.
and Orlando Tecciau worked for a veterinarian on his Holly
Hills farm in Plain Dealing, and they rented a home on or
near the farm. They were inside their home one evening when
Petitioner and three other men-Dillon Murphy, Joshua Lopez,
and David Weeks-arrived. Lopez waited in the car while
Petitioner and the two other men armed themselves with
weapons and entered the house. They kicked open a bedroom
door, found the victims, and demanded money. Murphy grabbed a
wallet from the dresser, and the men fled. Murphy and Lopez
left in the vehicle, while Petitioner and Weeks fled on foot.
The victims managed to fire a couple of shots at the fleeing
robbers, but no one was hit.
victims called their employer, who lived nearby, and told him
they had been robbed. The employer drove to the house, saw
the robbers' vehicle, and followed it until the men
abandoned it on a dead-end street. Police found a wallet in
the center console of the vehicle; Petitioner's
identification was inside the wallet.
motorist reported to a deputy that a man was walking on Old
Plain Dealing Road and attempting to hitchhike. The officers
spotted the hitchhiker, who turned out to be Petitioner,
about half a mile from the victims' home. The officers
caught Petitioner after a brief chase. They then drove
Petitioner to the victims' home, where the victims
identified Petitioner as one of the robbers.
other men were also caught. Murphy testified at trial. He
described how the men, armed with a billy bat, sword, and
pipe (all of which police found on the back floorboard of the
abandoned car), traveled to the house and committed the
crime. He said that Petitioner “held the Mexican up
with the sword. . . I took the wallet off the dresser and
took off running.” Lopez and Weeks also testified for
victims, aided by an interpreter, gave their testimony. Jose
testified that the wallet that was taken belonged to him; his
brother Orlando's money had been hidden under a sofa.
Petitioner, Jose testified, was holding a sword during the
robbery. Jose said that he fired a .22 rifle once in the air
as the robbers fled. Some of the robbers said there were
multiple shots fired, and one said a bullet whizzed by his
head. Orlando testified that he was in the same room when the
man entered with weapons and demanded money, but they did not
take any of his property. “I was trying to give them
some money, but they - all they wanted to do was, I was
sitting down and all they wanted to do was hit me, so I just
tried to defend myself and pull my hands over my head.”
He added that the men never actually struck him.
Petitioner's habeas claims was adjudicated on the merits
during the post-conviction process in state court. Habeas
corpus relief is available with respect to a claim that was
adjudicated on the merits in the state court only if the
adjudication (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 proceedings. 28
U.S.C. § 2254(d).
court's decision is contrary to clearly established
Supreme Court precedent when it relies on legal rules that
directly conflict with prior holdings of the Supreme Court or
if it reaches a different conclusion than the Supreme Court
on materially indistinguishable facts. Williams v.
Taylor, 120 S.Ct. 1495, 1519-20 (2000). A state court
makes an unreasonable application of clearly established
federal law when it identifies the correct governing legal
principle from the Supreme Court's decisions but applies
it to the facts in a way that is not only incorrect but
objectively unreasonable. Renico v. Lett, 130 S.Ct.
1855, 1862 (2010). When a state court has denied a claim on
the merits, the AEDPA bars habeas relief unless the prisoner
shows that the state court “erred so transparently that
no fairminded jurist could agree with that court's
decision.” Bobby v. Dixon, 132 S.Ct. 26, 27
(2011) (per curiam).
argued in his post-conviction application that his rights
under the Double Jeopardy Clause were violated when he was
punished for both armed robbery and attempted armed robbery,
even though he committed only a single criminal act. The
trial court denied the claim in a reasoned opinion that
pointed out that Louisiana law allows an accused who commits
separate and distinct offense during one criminal episode or
transaction to be prosecuted for each offense without
violating the principles of double jeopardy. The court
reasoned that the armed robbery was completed when the wallet
belonging to one victim was taken, and the attempted armed
robbery was committed on the second victim, who was menaced
but did not hand over any money. The two crimes had different
victims. Accordingly, the court rejected the claim. Tr.
filed a writ application with the state appellate court,
which denied it in a summary opinion: “On the showing
made, the writ is hereby denied.” Doc. 1, pg. 55. The
Supreme Court of Louisiana also denied a writ application in
a brief per curiam opinion that stated, with respect to this
and some other claims, “Relator fails to satisfy his
post-conviction burden of proof.” Doc. 1, pgs. 16-17.
Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment provides that
no person shall “be subject for the same offence to be
twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” The guarantee
applies to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. It
embodies three separate guarantees: “It protects
against a second prosecution for the same offense after
acquittal, against a second prosecution for the same offense
after conviction, and against multiple punishments for the
same offense.” Justices of Boston Mun. Court v.
Lydon, 104 S.Ct. 1805, 1812 (1984). Petitioner's
claim has to be made under the “multiple punishments
for the same offense” protection, as the others do not
respect to cumulative sentences imposed in a single trial,
the Double Jeopardy Clause does no more than prevent the
sentencing court from prescribing greater punishment than the
legislature intended.” Missouri v. Hunter, 103
S.Ct. 673, 678 (1983). The question of what punishments are
constitutionally permissible turns on what punishment the
legislature intended to be imposed. “Where [the
legislature] intended. . . to impose multiple punishments,
imposition of such sentence does not violate the
Constitution.” Albernaz v. U.S., 101 S.Ct.
1137, 1145 (1980). And although the federal court will decide
under federal law whether a double jeopardy violation has
occurred, it must accept a state court's construction of
its own statutes. Hunter, 103 S.Ct. at 679.
courts have held that an accused who commits separate and
distinct offenses during the same criminal episode may be
prosecuted and convicted for each offense without violating
the principle of double jeopardy. Louisiana has not adopted a
“same transaction” test that would prohibit
prosecutions for different crimes committed during one
continuing course of conduct. State v. Nichols, 337
So.2d 1074, 1078 (La. 1976); State v. Bridgewater,
726 So.2d 987, 991 (La.App. 5th Cir. 1998). Similarly, the
Supreme Court has “disclaimed any intention of adopting
a ‘same evidence' test” in double jeopardy
cases. U ...