United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on Petitioner Edwardlee
Johnson's Petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ
of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody (ECF #1). For
the following reasons, the Court accepts and adopts the
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation and
dismisses Petitioner's Petition.
following is a factual synopsis of Petitioner's claims.
The Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, adopted
and incorporated, provides a more complete and detailed
discussion of the facts.
August 6, 2012, the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted
Petitioner on five counts: one count of Aggravated Murder,
one count of Murder, two counts of Felonious Assault and one
count of Having Weapons Under Disability. The case proceeded
to a jury trial on March 11, 2013. On March 15, 2013, the
jury found Petitioner not guilty of Aggravated Murder, guilty
of Murder and both counts of Felonious Assault with attached
Specifications. On March 22, 2013, the trial court found
Petitioner guilty of the prior-conviction and Repeat
Violent-Offender Specifications and the Weapons Under
Disability charge. On March 25, 2013 the trial court
sentenced Petitioner to an aggregate sentence of twenty-five
years to life in prison.
filed an appeal to the Eighth District Court of Appeals. On
June 19, 2014, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial
court's judgment. Petitioner filed a Motion for
Reconsideration. The Court of Appeals denied the Motion on
July 22, 2014. Petitioner appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.
The Ohio Supreme Court declined jurisdiction over the Appeal
on February 18, 2015.
filed the instant Petition on March 14, 2016, asserting four
grounds for relief, but withdrew Ground One in his
Objections. The remaining three grounds are:
GROUND TWO: [T]he repeated acts of
misconduct by the prosecutor in the presence of the jury went
virtually unchecked by the trial court. The remarks did
mislead the jury. The remarks were extensive. The improper
comments were made during the closing rebuttal after defense
had opportunity to addres [sic] them. The repeated and
purposeful acts here require a new trial.
GROUND THREE: Trial counsel was
ineffective in . . . fail[ing] to object to inadmissable
[sic] evidence, . . . failing to object to the jury
instructions on flight[, ] . . . [and]failing to object to
State's closing argument[, ] .
GROUND FOUR: The combination of
errors by the trial court, the prosecution and the
ineffectiveness of the defense counsel deprived Johnson of a
March 17, 2016, the Court referred Petitioner's Petition
to the Magistrate Judge for a Report and Recommendation. The
Magistrate Judge issued his Report and Recommendation on
November 15, 2017. On November 27, 2017 Petitioner filed an
Objection to the Magistrate's Report and Recommendation.
On December 18, 2017, Respondent filed a Response to
federal habeas claim has been adjudicated by the state
courts, 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1) provides the writ shall
not issue unless the state decision “was contrary to,
or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly
established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court of
the United States.” Further, a federal court may grant
habeas relief if the state court arrives at a decision
opposite to that reached by the Supreme Court of the United
States on a question of law, or if the state court decides a
case differently than did the Supreme Court on a set of
materially indistinguishable facts. Williams v.
Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 405-406 (2000). The appropriate
measure of whether or not a state court decision unreasonably
applied clearly established federal law is whether that state
adjudication was “objectively unreasonable” and
not merely erroneous or incorrect. Williams, 529
U.S. at 409-411.
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1), findings of fact made by the
state court are presumed correct, rebuttable only by clear
and convincing evidence to the contrary. McAdoo v.
Elo, 365 F.3d 487, 493-494 (6th Cir. ...