United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
Y. PEARSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case has been transferred from the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Ohio. See Order
(ECF No. 6). Pro Se Petitioner Sakhu Maa Tem Heru
aka Sekou Muata Imani filed an Amended Petition for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (ECF No. 5).
Petitioner is currently incarcerated in the London
Correctional Institution, having been convicted in 2008 on
four counts of trafficking in drugs (powder and crack
cocaine) in Tuscarawas County, Ohio Common Pleas Court Case
No. 2007 CR 04 0145. He was sentenced to an aggregate term of
16 years in prison. In this Petition, he asserts he notified
the Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court that he was legally
separating from the name of Sekou Muata Imani and all
criminal liability associated with that name, but they have
failed to acknowledge his declaration. Petitioner also claims
that as a result of a “23 and Me” ancestry test,
he discovered he is genetically linked to the Pima Native
Americans of Arizona. He contends that under the Treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848, inhabitants of the territory now
known as Arizona were permitted to elect United States
citizenship or to retain Mexican citizenship and remain in
the territory. Petitioner claims that as both a Native
American and a foreign national, the Tuscarawas County Common
Pleas Court lacked jurisdiction to try him on the drug
charges. He seeks immediate release.
Plaintiff's second Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 contesting this same conviction.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds the Petition
to be successive and it is transferred to the United States
Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for permission to
sold crack cocaine or powder cocaine to a confidential
informant on four dates in March and April 2007. The sales
took place at Petitioner's residence, which was located
within 1, 000 feet of an elementary school. Three of the
transactions were recorded on audio or video. He was indicted
on April 17, 2007 on two counts of aggravated trafficking in
drugs, felonies of the first degree, and two counts of
trafficking in drugs, felonies of the third degree. He
entered pleas of not guilty, and the matter proceeded to a
jury trial on April 17, 2008. The jury found appellant guilty
on all four counts. On May 14, 2008, the trial court
sentenced Petitioner to two consecutive five-year prison
sentences for aggravated trafficking, and two consecutive
three-year sentences for trafficking, for a total aggregate
prison sentence of 16 years. State v. Imani, No.
2008 AP 06 0043, 2009 WL 3491155, at *1 (Ohio App. 5th Dist.
Oct. 27, 2009).
filed a timely direct appeal, and presented the following
three assignments of error:
1. The trial court erred in failing to grant Appellant's
request for substitute counsel and as a result the appellant
was denied effective assistance of counsel.
2. The trial court erred in allowing the laboratory reports
from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation into evidence, as
well as not providing Appellant with an independent analysis
performed by a laboratory analyst appointed by the court.
3. The jury verdict is not supported by the sufficiency of
the evidence and is against the manifest weight of the
court of appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court in
October 2009. Id.
did not file an appeal of that decision to the Supreme Court
of Ohio. Instead, on January 8, 2010, Petitioner filed a
motion seeking an extension of time to file a Ohio App. R.
26(B) application to reopen his appeal. He, however, failed
to file a delayed Rule 26(B) application during that time,
and the court of appeals denied the motion for extension on
November 10, 2010.
then filed a motion for resentencing under Ohio Crim. R.
52(B) on February 15, 2012. The trial court denied the
motion, finding the claims barred by res judicata.
Petitioner filed an untimely notice of appeal, which was
dismissed sua sponte on April 27, 2012. Imani v.
State, No. 2012 AP 04 0029 (Ohio App. 5th Dist. filed
April 19, 2012).
October 18, 2012, Petitioner filed a delayed Rule 26(B)
application to reopen his appeal, arguing his appellate
counsel was ineffective ...