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Jones v. Haas

United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division

March 3, 2015

RAMON JONES, Petitioner,
v.
RANDALL HAAS, Respondent.

OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

Sean F. Cox U.S. District Judge

Petitioner Ramon Jones has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner is in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections pursuant to convictions for assault with intent to murder, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.83.

He seeks habeas relief on the ground that the trial court erred in denying his motion to withdraw his plea. The Court denies the petition.

I. Background

Petitioner was charged in Isabella County Circuit Court with assault with intent to murder and habitual offender, fourth. He pleaded no contest to assault with intent to murder and being a second habitual offender. On October 16, 2008, he was sentenced to 19 to 30 years’ imprisonment.

Petitioner filed an application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals, raising this claim:

The trial court erroneously denied Mr. Jones’ motion to withdraw his guilty plea prior to sentencing despite his consistent claim of innocence, coercive pressure by his counsel to plead and the insufficient factual basis to support a conviction for assault with intent to murder.

The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Jones’s conviction. People v. Jones, No. 294684 (Mich. Ct. App. Dec. 22, 2009).

Jones filed an application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court, raising the same claim raised in the Michigan Court of Appeals. The Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal. People v. Jones, 486 Mich. 1044 (Mich. 2010).

Jones filed a motion for relief from judgment in the trial court raising these claims: (i) trial court erred in denying motion to withdraw plea; (ii) denied right to confront witnesses against him; (iii) erroneously bound over to Circuit Court; and (iv) good cause and actual prejudice are shown. The trial court denied the motion. People v. Jones, No. 08-215 (Isabella County Cir. Ct. Jan. 29, 2013). The Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court denied his subsequent applications for leave to appeal. People v. Jones, No. 316524 (Mich. Oct. 15, 2013); People v. Jones, 495 Mich. 993 (Mich. 2014).

Jones then filed the pending habeas petition. He raises this claim:

The trial court erroneously denied Petitioner’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea prior to sentencing despite his consistent claim of innocence, coercive pressure by his counsel to plead, and the insufficient factual basis to support a conviction for assault with intent to murder.

II. Standard

Review of this case is governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”). Under the AEDPA, a state prisoner is entitled to a writ of habeas corpus only if he can show that ...


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