United States District Court, N.D. Ohio
OPINION & ORDER, [RESOLVING DOCS. 1, 20
S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Paul Reed petitions the Court for a writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
following reasons, the Court OVERRULES
Petitioner's objections, ADOPTS the
holding of the R&R, and DENIES
Petitioner's request for a writ of habeas corpus.
April 26, 2014, Petitioner Reed and his girlfriend, Tiffany
Powell, plotted to lure James Harris, the father of
Powell's children, to a residence. After Harris came to
the residence, he was beaten to death.
time of the murder victim James Harris exercised custody of
his and Powell's children.
carry out her effort to get Harris to the house, Powell
contacted a friend, Ro'ceeda Kelly, to help lure Harris
to the home. A protection order forbade Harris's presence
at the home and a protection order violation would arguably
help Powell to regain custody.
drove Powell and Kelly to Harris's residence. Harris was
not home, but Kelly told Harris's acquaintance at the
home that she wanted to sell Harris a vehicle. Harris bought
and sold used cars. Later Reed called Harris directly using a
phone supplied by Reed and Powell. When Harris returned her
call, Kelly told Harris to meet her at the Powell residence.
that evening, Harris arrived at the residence with his son,
who remained in the car. Kelly led Harris to the back
entrance of the house and down the stairs to the basement.
When Harris stepped from the stairwell into the basement Reed
hit Harris in the face with a pole. Kelly ran out of the
police arrived at the scene, they discovered Harris's
body. There was a gun near Harris's body and a detached
magazine close by. The magazine had Harris's DNA on it.
Both Kelly and Harris's son testified that they did not
see Harris with a gun. Reed's hands had Harris's DNA
autopsy found blunt force trauma caused Harris's death.
The Medical Examiner concluded that someone likely kneeled on
Harris's back and beat his head into the ground. Harris
did not have any defensive wounds consistent with mutual
February 27, 2015, an Ohio state jury found Reed guilty of
one count of murder and one count of complicity to commit
murder. The state court sentenced Reed to life
imprisonment with no parole for fifteen years.
April 13, 2015, Reed appealed his conviction in the Ohio
Court of Appeals. The state appellate court
the appellate court's decision, Petitioner Reed did not
timely appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court. After missing the
time deadline to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, on October
14, 2016, Reed filed a pro se motion for leave to
file a delayed appeal to the Ohio Supreme
Court. On December 14, 2016, the Ohio Supreme
Court denied his motion.
now brings a habeas petition under 28 U.S.C.
2254. Magistrate Judge Parker issued a report
and recommendation (“R&R”) recommending that
the Court deny Reed's petition. Reed
Petitioner has objected, the Court reviews the R&R de
novo.To succeed with his petition, Reed must
show that his conviction resulted from an unreasonable
application of clearly established federal law or an
unreasonable factual determination. This standard is
challenging due to the highly deferential standard this Court
must give to state-court rulings.
All of Petitioner's Claims Are Procedurally
petitioner procedurally defaults a claim by failing to
“comply with state procedural
rules.” Reed properly appealed all his habeas
grounds to the Ohio Court of Appeals but he procedurally
defaulted his claims by failing to timely appeal the
appellate court's decision to the Ohio Supreme Court.
deciding whether Reed's failure to comply with state
procedural rules should be excused, the Court applies the
four-part Maupin test.
Maupin, the Court considers: (1) whether there is a
state procedural rule that Petitioner Reed failed to comply
with; (2) whether the state court enforced the rule in
Reed's case; (3) whether the rule is an adequate and
independent state ground for the state to foreclose review of
a federal constitutional claim; and (4) if Reed did not
comply with the state procedural rule and the rule was an
adequate and independent state ground, whether Reed can show
cause for failure to follow the rule and resulting
failed to comply with the Ohio Supreme Court's filing
deadline, a procedural rule. The Ohio Supreme Court
enforced the rule by denying his motion for a delayed appeal.
The Sixth Circuit has held that a denial by the Ohio Supreme
Court is “an adequate ground to foreclose federal
overcome the default, Petitioner Reed must show cause and
Petitioner Fails to Show Cause and Prejudice.
objections to the R&R recite the same arguments for
excusing his default as Reed briefed in Petitioner's
Traverse-Reed says his appellate counsel did not inform him
that his appeal was denied until eleven days afterward and
did not notify him of the Ohio Supreme Court's filing
deadline. He also says that his delay was caused in part by
the difficulties of preparing his appeal while incarcerated.
initial matter, the difficulties of pro se status
cannot provide cause to overcome default.
the Sixth Circuit applies a rebuttable presumption in cases
where defendants claim counsel failed to notify them of an
“[I]f the period of time between when the defendant
learned of the decision and when he or she attempted to
appeal the decision is greater than the period
allotted by state law for the timely filing of an
appeal-here, forty-five days--the defendant fails to
demonstrate that he or she would have timely appealed the
decision but for the counsel's deficient failure to
notify the defendant of the decision.”
circumstance, there was a sixty-seven-day window between
receiving notice of the Ohio Court of Appeals denial and
Petitioner's filing his request for a delayed
appeal. This clearly exceeds the allotted
forty-five day filing window. That Petitioner was ignorant of
the forty-five-day rule is not an excuse.
cannot show cause for his delay. In its absence, the Court
need not consider whether ...