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.

Davis v. Vannoy

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

March 22, 2019

CARL J. DAVIS JR.
v.
DARREL VANNOY, WARDEN

         SECTION “J” (2)

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOSEPH C. WILKINSON, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct hearings, including an evidentiary hearing, if necessary, and to submit proposed findings and recommendations for disposition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(B) and (C) and, as applicable, Rule 8(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. Upon review of the entire record, I have determined that a federal evidentiary hearing is unnecessary. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2).[1] For the following reasons, I recommend that the instant petition for habeas corpus relief be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as time-barred.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The petitioner, Carl J. Davis Jr., is a convicted inmate incarcerated in the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana.[2] On March 17, 2010, Davis was indicted by a Washington Parish grand jury for second degree murder.[3] The Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal summarized the facts established at trial:

On the night of December 12, 2009, the twenty-two-year old victim, Brossi Hogan, went to Lem's Bar in Washington Parish. The bar closed about 3:00 a.m. the next morning, and the roadway leading away from the bar became congested as patrons attempted to leave the area. According to witnesses, one vehicle was blocking the road and some patrons from the bar were in the roadway dancing. During the traffic jam, the defendant was observed arguing with Arianna Magee who, according to witnesses, looked more like a male than a female and was in one of the vehicles that was blocking the defendant from leaving. The victim, Ms. Magee's cousin, stepped out of his friend, Stephanie Gaudy's, vehicle to inform the defendant, who was not from the area, that Ms. Magee was not a man and that the defendant was actually arguing with a female. After the victim got back in the vehicle, the defendant was observed firing several gunshots into the vehicle, striking the victim multiple times. Detective Anthony Stubbs of the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office (WPSO) was dispatched to the scene while other detectives went to Riverside Medical Center and met potential witnesses. The victim suffered three gunshots to the head and died instantly.

State v. Davis, No. 2012-KA-2044, 2013 WL 122539, at *1 (La.App. 1st Cir. Dec. 27, 2013); State Record Volume 3 of 10, Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal Opinion, 2012-KA-2044, pages 2-3, December 27, 2013.

         Davis was tried before a jury on December 6 through 8, 2011, and found guilty as charged.[4] At a December 20, 2011, hearing, the state trial court denied Davis's motions for a new trial and for post-verdict judgment of acquittal.[5] At the same hearing, the court sentenced Davis to life in prison without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.[6] On December 28, 2011, the court denied Davis's motion to reconsider the sentence.[7]

         On direct appeal, Davis's appointed counsel asserted two errors:[8] (1) The state trial court erred by pronouncing the sentence on the same day as the denial of the motion for new trial without a waiver of sentencing delays. (2) The state trial court erred by imposing the life sentence without determining whether it was excessive under the circumstances. Davis filed pro se a supplemental brief asserting two claims:[9] (1) The evidence was insufficient to identify Davis and to support the verdict. (2) The state trial court erred in imposing an excessive sentence.

         On December 27, 2013, the Louisiana First Circuit affirmed Davis's conviction and sentence, finding the claims asserted in his appeal meritless.[10] Davis's conviction became final 30 days later, on Monday, January 27, 2014, [11] when he did not seek review in the Louisiana Supreme Court. See Butler v. Cain, 533 F.3d 314, 317 (5th Cir. 2008) (citing Roberts v. Cockrell, 319 F.3d 690, 693 (5th Cir. 2003) (an appeal is final when the state defendant does not timely proceed to the next available step in an appeal process)); La. S.Ct. R. X§5.

         On February 4, 2014, Davis signed a writ application addressed to the Louisiana Supreme seeking review of his direct appeal.[12] On November 7, 2014, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied the writ application without stated reasons.[13]

         On March 23, 2015, Davis signed and submitted an application for post-conviction relief to the state trial court asserting the following grounds:[14] (1) The State denied him a fair trial by knowingly withholding exculpatory and impeachment evidence in the supplemental police report in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). (2) The State knowingly presented false evidence through the testimony of the eyewitness who identified Davis as the shooter and allowed it to go uncorrected in violation of Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 271 (1959).

         On October 5, 2016, the state trial court held an evidentiary hearing on the claims, and Davis was represented at the hearing by appointed counsel.[15] Following the hearing, the parties submitted additional briefing.[16] On February 2, 2017, the state trial court denied relief, holding that the evidence at the hearing established that the State provided the supplemental report to Davis's counsel before trial, and the State did not present false testimony at trial.[17]

         On May 18, 2017, the Louisiana First Circuit denied Davis's pro se writ application, finding no error in the state trial court's ruling that he failed to bear his burden of proof on both claims.[18] On September 14, 2018, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied Davis's related writ application, holding that he failed to prove a Brady violation or meet the burden of proof on his other claim.[19]

         III. FEDERAL HABEAS PETITION

         On October 30, 2018, after correction of certain deficiencies, the clerk of this court filed Davis's federal habeas corpus petition in which he asserts the following grounds for relief:[20] (1) The state trial court erred by pronouncing the sentence on the same day as the denial of the motion for new trial without a waiver of sentencing delays. (2) The state trial court erred by imposing the life sentence without determining whether it was excessive under the circumstances. (3) The evidence was insufficient to identify Davis and to support the verdict. (4) The State denied him a fair trial by knowingly withholding exculpatory and impeachment evidence in the supplemental police report in violation of Brady. (5) The State knowingly presented false evidence through the testimony of the eyewitness who identified Davis as the shooter and allowed it to go uncorrected in violation of Napue.

         The State filed a response in opposition to Davis's federal petition, asserting that the petition is time-barred and reserving its right to assert other defenses and address the merits of the claims, if necessary.[21]

         III. GENERAL STANDARDS OF REVIEW

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, comprehensively revised federal habeas corpus legislation, including 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The AEDPA went into effect on April 24, 1996[22] and applies to habeas petitions filed after that date. Flanagan v. Johnson, 154 F.3d 196, 198 (5th Cir. 1998) (citing Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320 (1997)). The AEDPA therefore applies to Davis's petition, which, for reasons discussed below, is deemed filed on September 28, 2018.[23] The threshold questions in habeas review under the amended statute are whether the petition is timely and whether petitioner's claims were adjudicated on the merits in state court; i.e., the petitioner must have exhausted state court remedies and must not be in “procedural default” on a claim. Nobles v. Johnson, 127 F.3d 409, 419-20 (5th Cir. 1997) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b), (c)).

         The State asserts and the record establishes that Davis's federal petition was not timely filed. For the following reasons, I recommend that Davis's petition be dismissed with prejudice as time-barred.

         IV. STATUTE ...


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.