United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE APPLICATION FOR A WRIT
OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF
BERNARD A. FRIEDMAN SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is presently before the Court on petitioner's
application for a writ of habeas corpus. Petitioner
challenges his convictions for armed robbery, felon in
possession of a firearm, and use of a firearm during the
commission of a felony. He raises these claims: the
prosecutor withheld evidence in violation of Brady,
the trial court violated petitioner's right of
confrontation, and trial counsel rendered ineffective
assistance. Respondent has filed an answer arguing that
petitioner's ineffective assistance of counsel claim is
procedurally defaulted and that all of the claims are
meritless. For the following reasons, the Court shall deny
convictions arise from the robbery of Tyrone O'Neal.
O'Neal, a postal worker, testified that on April 21,
2009, he was delivering mail in Detroit when he saw a person
he later identified as petitioner walking in the middle of
the street. Petitioner approached O'Neal, pointed a gun
at O'Neal's chest while demanding that O'Neal
empty his pockets. O'Neal emptied the contents of his
pockets onto the ground, fled, and called 911. A few days
later, O'Neal met with a police sketch artist who created
a composite picture which was distributed in the community.
Police received a tip that the person in the sketch was
petitioner. On the basis of this tip, O'Neal was shown a
photographic lineup which included a photograph of
petitioner. O'Neal picked petitioner out of the lineup
and identified him as the robber.
Bridges, a service representative for DTE Energy, was offered
as a Rule 404(b) witness. He testified that he was also
approached by a man on April 21, 2009, in Detroit. The man
pointed a gun at Bridges and told Bridges to empty the
contents of his pockets. Bridges later viewed a photographic
lineup and identified petitioner as the perpetrator.
Inspector Christopher Martin testified about the course of
the investigation. He created a reward poster using a copy of
the police sketch of the suspect in the O'Neal robbery.
The reward poster was distributed within a six-block radius
of the robbery location. Two tips were received in response
to the poster. On April 23, 2009, an anonymous tipster
informed police that someone who matched the police sketch
frequently visited a home on State Fair Avenue, not far from
the location of the O'Neal robbery. Police set up
surveillance of the home and ultimately recovered a black
jacket resembling one worn by the perpetrator as described by
O'Neal, and a spent shell casing from inside the home.
Inspector Martin received a tip from a confidential informant
on April 29, 2009, identifying Petitioner as the robber.
Petitioner was arrested on April 30. 2009.
testified in his own defense. He denied that he was the
person who robbed O'Neal or Bridges.
a jury trial in Wayne County Circuit Court, petitioner was
convicted of armed robbery, felon in possession of a firearm,
and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. On
October 16, 2009, he was sentenced as a second habitual
offender to 9 to 20 years' imprisonment for the armed
robbery conviction, 2 to 7-1/2 years' imprisonment for
the felon-in- possession conviction, and 2 years'
imprisonment for the felony-firearm conviction.
filed an appeal of right in the Michigan Court of Appeals,
raising these claims: (i) pretrial identification procedures
unduly suggestive; (ii) composite sketch improperly admitted;
(iii) ineffective assistance of counsel; (iv) prosecutorial
misconduct; (v) jury instruction error; and (vi) other act
evidence improperly admitted. The Michigan Court of Appeals
affirmed petitioner's convictions. People v.
McDaniel, No. 294821, 2011 WL 519956 (Mich. Ct. App.
Feb. 15, 2011). Petitioner sought leave to appeal in the
Michigan Supreme Court raising the same claims raised in the
Michigan Court of Appeals. The Michigan Supreme Court denied
leave to appeal. People v. McDaniel, 490 Mich. 859
then filed a motion for relief from judgment in the trial
court, claiming that the prosecutor improperly withheld the
name of the confidential informant, that admission of
statements by the confidential informant violated the
Confrontation Clause, and that counsel was ineffective in
failing to object to this testimony. The trial court denied
the motion. People v. McDaniel, No. 09-012025 (Wayne
Cty. Cir. Ct. July 16, 2012). (ECF No. 9-17). Both Michigan
appellate courts denied leave to appeal. People v.
McDaniel, No. 316008 (Mich. Ct. App. Oct. 4, 2013);
People v. McDaniel, 495 Mich. 949 (Mich. Feb. 28,
then filed the instant habeas petition. He raises these
I. Petitioner was denied due process of law and equal
protection of law by prosecution's misconduct, violating
the Brady rule of disclosure of relevant and
material evidence used against Petitioner to convict.
II. The trial court denied Petitioner due process by the
court's abuse of discretion ...violating Petitioner's
right to confrontation, violating substantial rights to a
fair trial resulting in a miscarriage of justice.
III. Petitioner had ineffective assistance of counsel at
trial by failing to make proper objections to hearsay and
failure to make appropriate motions.
claims are reviewed against the standards established by the
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Pub.
L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (AEDPA). The AEDPA provides:
An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a
person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court
shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was
adjudicated on the merits in State court ...