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Gentry v. Warden, Correctional Reception Center

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

June 5, 2019

KENNETH GENTRY, Petitioner,
v.
Warden, Correctional Reception Center, Respondent.

          Michael R. Barrett District Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          MICHAEL R. MERZ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This is a habeas corpus case brought pro se by Petitioner Kenneth Gentry to obtain relief from his convictions in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas for involuntary manslaughter and drug trafficking. Upon review of the Petition (ECF No. 1), Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman ordered the State to answer and file the state court record (ECF No. 2). Respondent has done so (State Court Record, ECF No. 7; Return of Writ, ECF No. 8). Petitioner has filed a Supplemental Memorandum in Support of the Petition (ECF No. 4) and a Reply (ECF No. 10). Respondent has filed a Reply (ECF No. 11) to Gentry's Reply, making the case ripe for decision.

         The Magistrate Judge reference in the case was recently transferred to the undersigned to help balance the Magistrate Judge workload in the District (ECF No. 12).

         Litigation History

         On June 15, 2015, a Hamilton County grand jury indicted Petitioner on one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of corrupting another with drugs, two counts of trafficking in heroin, and two counts of possession of heroin in case number B1502592 (State Court Record, ECF No. 7, Ex. 1). Ten days later a second grand jury indicted him on two counts of trafficking in heroin, one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs, and one count of possession of heroin in case number B1503265-A. In the first case Gentry pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of trafficking in heroin pursuant to a plea agreement; in the second case he pleaded guilty to another count of trafficking in heroin. He was sentenced in both cases to an aggregate term of ten years imprisonment.

         Represented by counsel, Gentry appealed to the Ohio First District Court of Appeals which affirmed the convictions and sentence. State v. Gentry, Nos. C-160184 and C-160222 (unreported; copy at State Court Record, ECF No. 8, Ex. 18), appellate jurisdiction declined, 150 Ohio St.3d 1432. Gentry filed an Application to Reopen his appeal under Ohio R. App. P. 26(B), but did not appeal to the Supreme Court of Ohio from its denial. On October 28, 2016, Gentry also filed a petition for post-conviction relief which was never ruled on by the Common Pleas Court and thus may be presumed to have been denied.

         Gentry filed his Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in this Court on May 8, 2018, pleading the following grounds for relief:

Ground One:
Supporting Facts:
There was other opioids in the victims system which stated on the toxicology reports contributed to death along with the health issues which victim was already very ill. Since sadly I was the first charged with involuntary manslaughter in Hamilton county this was handle[d] wrong, poorly & they wanted to presence [sic] to the community with the rise of drugs epidemic courts knew they charged me wrong and that's why I was told with 2 separate indictments I would get 14 years for the drugs so just plea to involuntary manslaughter which under duress they threatened the wellbeing of my baby's mom to release her from jailed for my plea. I more so should've been charged with lesser crimes. Being after the fact newspaper magazine wrote and stated how I got 4 to 5 years more than anyone else sentenced in Hamilton County after me.
Ground Two
: [No second Ground for Relief is pleaded.]
Ground Three:
Supporting Facts: Well due to the fact police officers of Renu coerced me into talking to them without reading or advising me of my rights. Which they use that evidence to indictment. Furthermore they overcharged me on the drugs found, also due to circumstances of victims prior drugs uses & collapses with history of injection into picc-line, toxicology reports also indicated higher levels of morphine and oxycodone which contributed to cause of death. Also coroners office article submitted where health issues Nov 2017 suggested/stated the same health issues in this matter couldn't be ruled as an overdose with these underlining definicies ...

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