United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
States Magistrate Judge David R. Grand
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF
APPEALABILITY OR LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS
Gershwin A. Drain United States District Court Judge
Wayne Cummings, (“Petitioner”), confined at the
Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian, Michigan, filed
a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. In his pro se application, Petitioner
challenges his conviction for conspiracy to commit
first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, Mich. Comp.
Laws § 750.483a, and disinterment or mutilation of a
dead body, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.160. The court
sentenced Cummings to life imprisonment for the conspiracy
conviction, and concurrent prison terms of 1 to 10 years each
for the tampering with evidence and disinterment convictions.
For the reasons that follow, the petition for a writ of
habeas corpus is DENIED.
was convicted following a jury trial in the Wayne County
Circuit Court. This Court recites verbatim the relevant facts
relied upon by the Michigan Court of Appeals, which are
presumed correct on habeas review pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(e)(1). See Wagner v. Smith, 581 F.3d
410, 413 (6th Cir. 2009):
Defendants' convictions arise from the death of Brandon
Buck, whose unrecognizable body was discovered inside a
burning minivan during the early morning hours of April 18,
2011. In September 2011, a witness, Ayesha White, came
forward and reported observing the events that led to
Buck's death. White was the only witness to the events,
and was the only reason authorities were able to determine
whose body was found in the van. White stated that she was
present when Warner, at Sampson's direction, shot Buck.
Afterward, Cummings obtained a minivan and Buck's body
was placed inside, and then Cummings poured gasoline inside
the minivan and set it on fire. An autopsy determined that
Buck was already dead before the fire, having died from
multiple gunshot wounds.
People v. Warner, No. 311034, 2014 WL 2553303, at *1
(Mich. Ct. App. June 3, 2014).
conviction was affirmed on appeal. People v. Warner,
497 Mich. 890, 854 N.W.2d 890 (2014).
seeks a writ of habeas corpus on the following grounds:
I. Defendant is entitled to dismissal of conviction and
sentence for conspiracy where there was insufficient evidence
to find for this offense. As such, the motion for directed
verdict as to this offense should have been granted.
II. Defendant is entitled to correction of his judgment of
sentence to reflect his eligibility for parole.
Standard of Review
U.S.C. § 2254(d), as amended by The Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), imposes the