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Glover v. Woods

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

February 7, 2017

THOMAS GLOVER, Petitioner,
v.
JEFFREY WOODS, Respondent.

          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

          HONORABLE NANCY G. EDMUNDS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Thomas Glover, (“Petitioner”), presently confined at the Chippewa Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan, filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, in which he challenges his conviction for second-degree murder, M.C.L.A. § 750.317; assault with intent to commit murder, M.C.L.A. § 750.83; felon in possession of a firearm, M.C.L.A. § 750.224f; and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony (felony-firearm), M.C.L.A. § 750.227b. For the reasons that follow, the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is DENIED.

         I. Background

         Petitioner 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):

This case arises out of the death of Adrian Brown and the shooting of Willie Shears on June 26, 2010, in Detroit, Michigan. At approximately 12:30 a.m. or 12:45 a.m., Brown; brothers, Willie and Robert Shears; and Bernard Crump arrived at a strip club called Starvin' Marvin's. The four men had driven to Starvin' Marvin's in two vehicles: Robert Shears and Crump were in a black Jaguar that Crump was driving, and Willie Shears and Brown were in Brown's van. They parked the vehicles in valet parking. Robert Shears, Willie Shears, and Crump then entered the club, while Brown initially remained outside. Brown came into the club five minutes later. The men then ordered and drank a bottle of vodka. According to the testimony, the men were in the club somewhere between 20 minutes to about an hour. Brown then decided that he wanted to leave. The testimony of Willie Shears, Robert Shears, and Crump varies about what happened next.
According to Robert Shears, he and Brown walked out of the club first, exiting through the front door. Willie Shears and Crump came out just behind them. They stood and waited approximately 10 or 15 minutes for the valet to bring back Brown's van. But then someone from the valet service told them that Brown's van was not in the valet parking area. Brown then took his keys from the valet.
Robert Sears testified that he then heard five or six gunshots. After hearing the shots, Robert Shears then saw Brown fall to the ground. Robert Shears stated that at this time Willie Shears was standing near the front entrance of the club.
According to Robert Shears, after the shooting, although he did not believe that Brown was alive at that point, he called out to Crump to help him put Brown into the Jaguar. As Robert Shears was trying to get Brown into the Jaguar, another unidentified individual approached to help, so Robert Shears ran to look for Brown's van. Robert Shears found the van parked in a field on the next block. He drove to near the front entrance of the club and parked on the street. Robert Shears then found out that Willie Shears had also been shot, so he left to meet Willie Shears at the hospital. At the hospital, Robert Shears learned that Brown, who was at a different hospital, was in fact dead.
According to Willie Shears, after exiting the club, they waited for Brown's van for approximately six or seven minutes. Willie Shears then heard nine or 10 gunshots. But he did not see where the shots were coming from at that time. After the gunshots stopped, Willie Shears saw Brown fall. According to Willie Shears, Brown then asked Willie and Robert Shears to put him in the Jaguar. They rushed over to him, but Willie Shears then heard six or seven more shots, and he was shot in the right ankle. Willie Shears testified that although he did not see him firing the gun, at that point, he saw Glover standing behind the Jaguar, holding a gun. Willie Shears did not see anyone else shooting. After getting shot, Willie Shears left Brown and “hopped” back into the club. He then lay inside the front entrance.
Willie Shears initially testified that he did not see where Glover went after he was shot. However, on cross-examination, he testified that he saw Glover run to the back of the parking lot and then he heard a third series of shots. In total, over the three series of shots, Willie Shears heard approximately 20 shots.
Willie Shears testified that he lay inside the club for approximately five or six minutes before the police arrived. An ambulance took Willie Shears to Henry Ford Hospital. At the hospital, Willie Shears identified a photograph of Glover as the person who shot him.
Crump testified that when they decided to leave the club, the three men left before him because he had ordered food and he had to wait for it. Approximately five minutes later, Crump walked to the door with his food, and someone at the door told him not to go outside because there was shooting in the parking lot. Crump did not hear any shooting, so he went out the door anyway. But after Crump got outside, he heard shooting. Crump did not see where the shooting was coming from because he ducked when he heard the shots. As he was ducking, however, Crump saw Willie Shears run past him, limping on one leg as if he had been shot. According to Crump, the shooting sounded close at first and then sounded like it moved further away. When the shooting was further away, Crump looked up and saw Robert Shears holding Brown and saying that Brown had been shot.
Crump testified that Robert Shears then told him to go find the van. According to Crump, he ran around the parking lot trying to find the valet to get the key, but the van was not in the lot. So then Crump got the Jaguar, and he and Robert Shears tried to put Brown in it, but they were not strong enough, so a security guard helped them. Crump testified that Robert Shears then told him that he was going to take Willie Shears to the hospital and told Crump to take Brown. Crump drove off and took Brown to Receiving Hospital, which was the only hospital with which Crump was familiar. Crump testified that while on the way to the hospital, Brown was “breathing hard.” But at the hospital, Crump learned that Brown was dead.
When asked what Brown did for a living, Robert and Willie Shears and Crump all testified that Brown sold drugs. However, they all denied that they themselves sold drugs. All three men also testified that none of them had a gun that night, and they did not see anyone in their group with a gun, including Brown.
Roderick Williams, a reserve police officer for the Highland Park Police Department testified that, at the time of trial, he worked for Starvin' Marvin's Corporation. Reserve Officer Williams was at Starvin' Marvin's on June 26, 2010, at about 1:10 a.m., to see Charles Finn, a manager at Starvin' Marvin's. Reserve Officer Williams entered the club through the front door. He and Finn then went through the back door into an alley behind the club to discuss business because it was loud inside the club. Finn testified that he was asking Reserve Officer Williams to lead the security team at Starvin' Marvin's. Both men testified that the alley was not well lit.
After approximately four to 10 minutes, Reserve Officer Williams heard shots coming from the parking lot. Reserve Officer Williams testified that he heard three or four shots at first, and then he heard another three to five shots. Reserve Officer Williams then saw a man with a gun in his hand running down the alley toward him and Finn. Reserve Officer Williams, who was in full police uniform, “yell[ed] out police.” According to Reserve Officer Williams, the man paused and then Reserve Officer Williams saw a muzzle flash, so he drew his firearm, yelled, “Drop your gun, ” and returned fire with his .357 caliber Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistol. Reserve Officer Williams fired approximately three to five shots, from low to high. He believed that he hit the person he was shooting at because the man spun around, which happens “sometimes when you get shot[.]” The man was then was out of sight. Reserve Officer Williams testified that he did not shoot at the man again after he saw him spin around. Instead, Reserve Officer Williams and Finn retreated back into the club.
Reserve Officer Williams later identified Glover as the person he had seen running toward him. According to Reserve Officer Williams, at the time of the incident, Glover had been wearing a white T-shirt and jeans. Reserve Officer Williams had two guns on him that day; in addition to his .357, he also had a .40 caliber HKP 2000 SK semi-automatic pistol, both of which he turned over to the police.
Starvin' Marvin's manager, Charles Finn, testified that he also works security at Starvin' Marvin's. He testified that the likelihood of someone entering the club with a gun was slim because security personnel performed pat-down searches on everyone entering the club, except police officers with badges. **************************************************************************
Michigan State Police Sergeant Reinhard Pope was qualified at trial as an expert in firearms and tool mark identification. In this case, Sergeant Pope initially received two firearms, 13 casings, and three fired bullets. Several days later, he received an additional firearm. The third firearm was a .357 caliber Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistol. The parties stipulated that this gun was taken from the yard or alley near Starvin' Marvin's and was associated with Glover. Sergeant Pope testified that six of the casings came from one firearm, which the parties stipulated was Reserve Officer Williams' weapon. Sergeant Pope testified that the other seven casings came from the Sig Sauer associated with Glover. He also identified one of the fired bullets as having been fired from Reserve Officer Williams' weapon. (The evidence tag number for this bullet-E38015904-was the same evidence tag number for the bullet recovered from Glover-E38015904.) Sergeant Pope identified one of the other bullets, which was the one removed from Brown's body, as having been fired from the firearm associated with Glover. Sergeant Pope eliminated the remaining bullet, which was damaged, from having been fired from Reserve Officer Williams' firearm, but he could not identify or eliminate it as having been fired from the firearm associated with Glover.

People v. Glover, No. 302412, 2012 WL 1415122, at *1-3, 5 (Mich. Ct. App. Apr. 24, 2012).

         Petitioner's conviction was affirmed on appeal. Id., lv. den. 493 Mich. 857, 820 N.W.2d 805 (2012).

         Petitioner filed a post-conviction motion for relief from judgment, which was denied by the trial judge. People v. Glover, No. 10-008104-FC (Wayne County Cir. Ct., Feb. 14, 2014). The Michigan appellate courts denied petitioner leave to appeal. People v. Glover, No. 321705 (Mich.Ct.App. June 18, 2014); lv. den. 858 Mich. 46 (2015).

         Petitioner seeks a writ of habeas corpus on the following grounds:

I. Verdicts of guilty upon insufficient evidence constituted a denial of due process.
II. Sentences imposed violated constitutional guarantees against cruel and/or unusual punishment.
III. The prosecutor's perfidious and odious mischaracterization of critical evidence and statement undermined the defendant's theory of self-defense, depriving defendant of a defense and a fair trial.
IV. Defendant was denied his federal constitutional right to have the effective assistance defense counsel pursuant to U.S. Const AMS VI, XIV and Const 1963, Art 1, ยงยง 17, 20 where defense counsel failed to or did not investigate and or admit witnesses and other evidence ...

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