United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER
SOLOMON OLIVER, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Petitioner Dontez Johnson filed this Petition for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Johnson is in
federal custody in FCI Beckley, serving a federal sentence of
110 months imposed in July 2005 by this Court. While he was
on supervised release from his federal conviction, he was
arrested in Cuyahoga County and charged in the Cuyahoga
County Court of Common Pleas with drug trafficking, drug
possession and possessing criminal tools for which he was
sentenced in February 2017, to eight and one-half years in
prison. In this Petition, he challenges his state court
conviction, asserting claims of prosecutorial misconduct,
violation of the Confrontation Clause, and ineffective
assistance of trial counsel. For the reasons set forth below,
the Petition is denied, and this action is dismissed.
was convicted in this United States District Court on charges
of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute crack
cocaine. He received a sentence of 110 months'
incarceration followed by three years of supervised release.
While Petitioner was on supervised release from his federal
conviction, he was charged in July 2016 in an 18-count
indictment related to two controlled buys of heroin and crack
cocaine conducted by the Cleveland Police Department through
a confidential informant. State of Ohio v. Johnson,
No. 105505 (Ohio App. 8 Dist. Jan. 18, 2018). The jury
convicted Petitioner on all charges in February 2017.
Id. The Court sentenced Petitioner to eight and
one-half years' incarceration.
appealed this conviction and sentence to the Ohio Eighth
District Court of Appeals. He raised four assignments of
1. The jury found, against the manifest weight of the
evidence, that [Petitioner] committed the acts charged in the
2. The evidence was not legally sufficient to sustain a
3. The trial court allowed impermissible testimony which was
not proper under Ohio Evid. R. 404(B).
4. The trial court abused its discretion by imposing a prison
sentence contrary to R.C. 2929.14 and the purposes and
principles of the felony sentencing guidelines and erred by
imposing consecutive sentences.
Id. The Appellate Court affirmed his conviction on
January 18, 2018. Petitioner has not yet filed an appeal to
the Ohio Supreme Court.
Petitioner filed this Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
asserts seven grounds for relief:
1. Prosecutorial Misconduct. The Prosecutor's comment to
the jury during closing arguments that Petitioner is a drug
dealer was opinion and an improper comment.
2. Prosecutorial Misconduct. The prosecutor stated
[Petitioner] was in the passenger seat and then changed his
statement to suggest Petitioner was in the back of ...