United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
R. ADAMS JUDGE.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
A. RUIZ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE.
Conley (“Conley” or “petitioner”) has
filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254. The petition is before the magistrate
judge pursuant to Local Rule 72.2. The petitioner is in the
custody of the North Central Correctional Complex pursuant to
journal entry of sentence dated November 20, 2015, in the
case of State v. Conley, No. 15-CR-0159. (R. 1,
PageID #: 1; RX 11.)
filed the petition pro se, following his 2015
conviction for felony possession of cocaine, pursuant to a
guilty plea, in the Marion County (Ohio) Court of Common
Pleas. (R. 6, RX 11, PageID #: 91-92; R. 1, PageID #: 1.) The
respondent has filed a Return of Writ (R. 6), Conley has
filed a Traverse (R. 8), and the respondent filed a Reply (R.
9). For the following reasons, the magistrate judge
recommends that the petition be denied.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
habeas corpus proceeding, instituted by a person in custody
pursuant to the judgment of a state court, factual
determinations made by the state courts are presumed correct.
28 U.S.C. 2254(e)(1); see also Franklin v. Bradshaw,
695 F.3d 439, 447 (6th Cir. 2012) (“State-court factual
findings are presumed correct unless rebutted by clear and
convincing evidence.”) The Ohio Third District Court of
Appeals provided the following factual and procedural
On April 23, 2015, the Marion County Grand Jury indicted
Conley on: Count One of possession of heroin in violation of
R.C. 2925.11(A), (C)(6), a second-degree felony; Count Two of
possession of cocaine in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A),
(C)(4), a first-degree felony; Count Three of trafficking in
heroin in violation of R.C. 2525.03(A)(1), (C)(6), a
fifth-degree felony; and Count Four of trafficking in cocaine
in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(1), (C)(4), a fifth-degree
felony. On April 27, 2015, Conley entered pleas of not guilty
to the counts of the indictment.
On June 15, 2015, Conley filed a motion to suppress evidence
and a “motion for disclosure of identity of the
informant.” On July 1 and August 5, 2015, the State
filed responses to Conley's “motion for disclosure
of identity of the informant” and motion to suppress
evidence, respectively. The trial court held a hearing on
Conley's motions on August 6, 2015. The trial court
overruled Conley's motion to suppress evidence and
overruled as moot Conley's “motion for disclosure
of identity of the informant.” Meanwhile, on August 5,
2015, the State filed a motion to dismiss Counts Three and
Four of the indictment. On August 6, 2015, the trial court
granted the State's motion and dismissed Counts Three and
Four of the indictment.
On October 20, 2015, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement,
Conley pled guilty to Count Two of the indictment “in
exchange for” the State agreeing to a dismissal of
Count One of the indictment. The parties did not reach
agreement regarding sentencing. The trial court accepted
Conley's plea of guilty to Count Two of the indictment
and entered a nolle prosequi to Count One, with Counts Three
and Four having been dismissed previously.
The trial court sentenced Conley on November 13, 2015. On
November 20, 2015, the trial court filed its judgment entry
(R. 6, RX 25, PageID #: 163-164; State v. Conley,
No. 9-16-10, 2016 WL 7626218, at *1 (Ohio Ct. App. Dec. 27,
2016) (internal citations omitted).)
On delayed direct appeal, Conley raised two assignments of
1. Appellant's guilty plea was not entered into knowingly
and voluntarily due to ineffective assistance of counsel.
2. Appellant was denied his Sixth Amendment right to counsel
due to the ineffective assistance of trial counsel.
(R. 6, RX 18, PageID #: 110.) On December 27, 2016, the court
of appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court. (R. 6,
RX 25; Conley, 2016 WL 7626218.)
appealed that decision to the Supreme Court of Ohio, raising
the following three propositions of law:
1. The Defendant-Appellant's United States Constitution
Fourteenth Amendment right [was] violated when the Appellate
Court affirmed the Trial Court's judgment of conviction
2. The Defendant-Appellant's right to effective
assistance of counsel was violated when his plea of guilty
was not entered ...