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Conley v. Turner

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

June 10, 2019

IAN CONLEY, Petitioner,
v.
NEIL TURNER, Warden, Respondent.

          JOHN R. ADAMS JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          DAVID A. RUIZ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE.

         Ian 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.)

         Conley 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.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         In a 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 background:

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 of sentence.

(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 error:
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.)

         Conley 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 and sentence.
2. The Defendant-Appellant's right to effective assistance of counsel was violated when his plea of guilty was not entered ...

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