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Stojetz v. Ishee

March 27, 2007

JOHN C. STOJETZ, PETITIONER,
v.
TODD ISHEE, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Gregory L. Frost

Magistrate Judge Norah McCann King

OPINION AND ORDER

Petitioner, a prisoner sentenced to death by the State of Ohio, has pending before this Court a habeas corpus action under 28 U.S.C. §2254. This matter is before the Court upon petitioner's first motion for discovery (Doc. # 46), respondent's memorandum in opposition (Doc. # 52), and petitioner's reply (Doc. # 44).

I. Overview

Petitioner was convicted and sentenced to death for the aggravated murder of seventeen-year-old Damico Watkins while both were incarcerated at the Madison Correctional Institution ("MaCI"). Petitioner and five other adult inmates who were members of, or associated with, the Aryan Brotherhood, stormed the "Adams A" juvenile unit armed with shanks and took the master keys from the corrections officer on duty, after which Watkins was stabbed several times in his cell, chased around both floors of the juvenile unit, and stabbed repeatedly until he collapsed and died on the upper range of the unit. Petitioner has at all times maintained that he sought to fight Watkins while his accomplices prevented other inmates or prison officials from intervening; however, he never intended to kill Watkins nor did he intend that any other inmates, at his (petitioner's) direction or of their own volition, kill Watkins. Petitioner argues that the discovery he seeks will assist him in proving claims of constitutional deprivation, specifically, claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, and actual innocence (both as a free standing claim and as a gateway claim). According to petitioner, the discovery he seeks will reveal evidence that contradicts the case that the prosecution presented at petitioner's trial demonstrating that petitioner ordered that Watkins be killed, and/or failed to stop Watkins from being killed, and/or delivered some of the fatal knife blows himself. That evidence, petitioner argues, will assist him in proving his constitutional claims of actual innocence, ineffective assistance of counsel, and the withholding of material, exculpatory evidence by the prosecution.

Respondent opposes petitioner's discovery requests, arguing that petitioner cannot meet the standards for habeas corpus discovery and that petitioner's requests amount to an attempt to retry his case in federal habeas corpus.

II. Discovery Requests

Petitioner's expansive discovery requests fall into four categories: (1) records and documents; (2) forensic, trace, and physical evidence; (3) statements and reports; and (4) depositions. The Court sets forth petitioner's requests verbatim below:

1. Records and Documents

A. Madison Correctional Institution

(1) A complete inventory of all of the investigative files and inventory of the contents of the investigative files of the Madison Correctional Institution (MaCI) concerning its investigations(s) into the death of Damico Watkins and/or prosecutions of John Stojetz, his co-defendants, accomplices or others for the murder of Damico Watkins, whether a part of criminal proceedings, internal security, disciplinary, or other review, civil proceedings, or other purposes, including but not limited to all photographs, videotapes, audiotapes, statements, interviews, depositions, reports, analysis, and other materials;

(2) A copy of the complete MaCI investigative files concerning its investigation(s) into the death of Damico Watkins and/or the prosecutions of John Stojetz, co-defendants, accomplices or others for the murder of Damico Watkins, whether a part of criminal proceedings, internal security, disciplinary, or other review, civil proceedings, or other purposes, including but not limited to all photographs, videotapes, audiotapes, statements, interviews, depositions, reports, analysis, and other materials;

(3) Any and all records concerning Damico Watkins' association in, or with gangs, or gang activities, in the possession of or accessible to MaCI, and including but not limited to all records, reports and files of all gang membership or gang activities of Damico Watkins at MaCI or elsewhere;

(4) Any and all records and files concerning John Stojetz's alleged association in, or with gangs, or gang activities, whether in the possession of or accessible to MaCI, and including but not limited to all records, reports and files of all gang membership or gang activities of John Stojetz at MaCI or elsewhere;

(5) Any and all records and files concerning Jerry Bishop, David Lovejoy, Phillip Wierzack or Wierzgac, James R. Bowling and William Vandersommen alleged association in, or with gangs or gang activities, whether in the possession of or accessible to MaCI, and including but not limited to all record, reports and files of all gang membership or gang activities of Jerry Bishop, David Lovejoy, Phillip Wierzack or Wierzgac, James R. Bowling, and William Vandersommen at MaCI or elsewhere;

(6) Any and all records concerning Doug Haggerty's association in, or with gangs, or gang activities, in the possession of or accessible to MaCI, and including but not limited to all records, reports and files of all gang membership or gang activities of Doug Haggerty at MaCI or elsewhere;

(7) Any and all records concerning security issues, altercations, fights, assaults, or other incidents involving Doug Haggerty at MaCI or elsewhere;

(8) A complete list of all MaCI staff including but not limited to employees, correctional officers, counselors, administrative personnel, medical personnel, mental health specialists and others in April, 1996;

(9) The complete personnel files of MaCI staff members,

a. Corrections Officer Michael Browning,

b. Captain Tom Swyers,

c. Corrections Officer Jeff Jones,

d. Lieutenant Robinson,

e. Unit Manager Mark Stanley,

f. Deputy Warden Mark Saunders,

g. Administrative Assistant Walt Ashbridge,

h. Corrections Officer Timothy Lee Follrod,

I. Sergeant Martha Crabtree,

j. Corrections Officer Barbara Sears,

k. Corrections Officer J.W. Wolverton,

l. Corrections Officer Shawn Vasser,

m. Corrections Officer Terry Campbell,

n. Corrections Officer Charles B. Krueger,

o. Sergeant Raymond Campbell,

p. Corrections Officer Fred R. Chesser,

q. Corrections Officer Michael Douds,

r. Corrections Officer Charles Grant Morgan, Jr.,

s. Corrections Officer John Vanover,

t. Corrections Officer Cooper,

u. Lieutenant/Corrections Officer Gerald L. Nelson, v. Matthew Robert Meyer including records of complaints, investigations, reviews, performance reviews, evaluations, and security evaluations of said MaCI employees during the time period 1993-1998;

(10) All time records of MaCI employees, staff and personnel on duty at MaCI for the period of April 20 through April 30, 1996, including but not limited to duty roster sheets, time cards, time clock records, entrance and exit records, sign in sheets, duty logs and employee time reports for each employee, staff member, or other MaCI personnel for said dates.

(11) Records, papers, recordings, transcripts of recordings, and other materials of security reviews of inmates Jerry Bishop, David Lovejoy, Phillip Wierzack or Wierzgac, James R. Bowling and William Vandersommen held anytime on or after April 26, 1996;

(12) Records, papers, recordings, transcripts of recordings, and other materials of Rules Infraction Board proceedings or other disciplinary reviews of Jerry Bishop, David Lovejoy, Phillip Wierzack or Wierzgac, James R. Bowling and William Vandersommen held anytime on or after April 26, 1996;

(13) A complete list of every inmate in Adams Unit A during the month of April, 1996, including race, date of birth, social security number, ODRC inmate number, cell number, known or suspected gang affiliation, and current ODRC status.

B. The Ohio State Highway Patrol

(1) A complete inventory of the investigative files and an inventory of the contents of the investigative files of the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) concerning its investigation(s) into the death of Damico Watkins and/or prosecutions of John Stojetz, his co-defendants, accomplices or others for the murder of Damico Watkins whether a part of criminal proceedings, internal security, disciplinary, or other review, civil proceedings, or other purposes, including but not limited to all photographs, videotapes, audiotapes, statements, interviews, depositions, reports, analysis, and other materials;

(2) The complete investigative file of the OSHP concerning its investigation(s) into the death of Damico Watkins and/or prosecutions of John Stojetz, his co-defendants, accomplices or others for the murder of Damico Watkins whether a part of criminal proceedings, internal security, disciplinary, or other review, civil proceedings, or other purposes, including but not limited to all photographs, videotapes, audiotapes, statements, interviews, depositions, reports, analysis, and other materials;

(3) Any and all records concerning Damico Watkins' association in, or with gangs or gang activities, whether in the possession of or accessible to the OSHP, and including but not limited to all records, reports and files of all gang membership and gang activity of Damico Watkins at MaCI or elsewhere;

(4) Any and all records and files concerning John Stojetz's alleged association in, or with gangs or gang activities, whether in the possession of or accessible to the OSHP, and including but not limited to all records, reports and files of all gang membership or gang activities of John Stojetz at MaCI or elsewhere;

C. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation

(1) A complete inventory of the investigative files and inventory of the contents of the investigative files of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII) concerning the investigation(s) into the death of Damico Watkins and/or prosecutions of John Stojetz, his co-defendants, accomplices or others for the murder of Damico Watkins, whether a part of criminal proceedings, internal security, disciplinary, or other review, civil proceedings, or other purposes, including but not limited to all photographs, videotapes, audiotapes, statements, interviews, depositions, reports, analysis, and other materials;

(2) The complete investigative file of the BCII concerning its investigation(s) into the death of Damico Watkins and/or prosecutions of John Stojetz, his co-defendants, accomplices or others for the murder of Damico Watkins, whether a part of criminal proceedings, internal security, disciplinary, or other review, civil proceedings, or other purposes, including but not limited to all photographs, videotapes, audiotapes, statements, interviews, depositions, reports, analysis, and other materials;

(3) The complete investigative file of the BCII laboratory, or any other state or private laboratory or forensic examiner, concerning the investigation(s) into the death of Damico Watkins and/or prosecutions of John Stojetz, his co-defendants, accomplices or others for the murder of Damico Watkins, whether a part of criminal proceedings, internal security, disciplinary, or other review, civil proceedings, or other purposes, including but not limited to all photographs, videotapes, audiotapes, statements, interviews, depositions, reports, analysis, and other materials;

(4) Any and all records concerning Damico Watkins/ association in, or with gangs or gang activities, whether in possession of or accessible to the BCII, and including but not limited to all records, reports and files of all gang membership or gang activities of Damico Watkins at the MaCI or elsewhere;

(5) Any and all records and files concerning John Stojetz's alleged association in, or with gangs or gang activities, whether in the possession of or accessible to the BCII, and including but not limited to all records, reports and files of all gang membership or gang activities of John Stojetz at the MaCI or elsewhere;

D. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections

(1) A complete inventory of the investigative files and inventory of the contents of the investigative files of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) concerning the investigation(s) into the death of Damico Watkins and/or prosecutions of John Stojetz, his co-defendants, accomplices or others for the murder of Damico Watkins, whether a part of criminal proceedings, internal security, disciplinary, or other review, civil proceedings, or other purposes, including but not limited to all photographs, videotapes, audiotapes, statements, interviews, depositions, reports, analysis, and other materials;

(2) The complete investigative files of the ODRC concerning the investigation into the death of Damico Watkins and/or prosecutions of John Stojetz, his co-defendants, accomplices or others for the murder of Damico Watkins, whether a part of criminal proceedings, internal security, disciplinary, or other review, civil proceedings, or other purposes, including but not limited to all photographs, videotapes, audiotapes, statements, interviews, depositions, reports, analysis, and other materials;

(3) Any and all records concerning Damico Watkins' alleged association in, or with gangs or gang activities, whether in the possession of or accessible to the ODRC, and including but not limited to all records, reports and files of all gang membership or gang activities of Damico Watkins at MaCI or elsewhere;

(4) Any and all records and files concerning John Stojetz's alleged association in, or with gangs or gang activities, whether in the possession of or accessible to the ODRC, and including but not limited to all records, reports and files of all gang membership or gang activities of John Stojetz at MaCI or elsewhere;

(5) Any and all records and files concerning Jerry Bishop, David Lovejoy, Phillip Wierzack or Wierzgac, James R. Bowling and William Vandersommen alleged association in, or with gangs or gang activities, whether in the possession of or accessible to the ODRC, and including but not limited to all records, reports and files of all gang membership or gang activities of Jerry Bishop, David Lovejoy, Phillip Wierzack or Wierzgac, James R. Bowling, and William Vandersommen at the MaCI or elsewhere;

(6) Any and all records concerning Doug Haggerty's association in, or with gangs, or gang activities, in the possession of or accessible to ODRC, and including but not limited to all records, reports and files of all gang membership or gang activities of Doug Haggerty at MaCI or elsewhere;

(7) Any and all records concerning security issues, altercations, fights, assaults, or other incidents involving Doug Haggerty at MaCI or elsewhere;

(8) Records, papers, recordings, transcripts of recordings, and other materials of security reviews of inmates Jerry Bishop, David Lovejoy, Phillip Wierzack or Wierzgac, James R. Bowling and William Vandersommen held anytime on or after April 26, 1996;

(9) Records, papers, recordings, transcripts of recordings, and other materials of Rules Infraction Board proceedings or other disciplinary reviews of Jerry Bishop, David Lovejoy, Phillip Wierzack or Wierzgac, James R. Bowling and William Vandersommen held anytime on or after April 26, 1996;

(10) A complete list of every inmate in Adams Unit A during the month of April, 1996, including race, date of birth, social security number, ODRC inmate number, cell number known or suspected gang affiliation, and current ODRC status.

(11) The complete ODRC personnel files of MaCI staff members,

a. Corrections Officer Michael Browning;

b. Captain Tom Swyers

c. Corrections Officer ...


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