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Schreane v. Ebbert

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

July 20, 2017

Clarence D. Schreane, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
David Ebbert, Warden, Respondent-Appellee.

          Argued: June 21, 2017

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga. No. 1:13-cv-00190-Harry S. Mattice Jr., District Judge.

         ARGUED:

          Zenaida R. Lockard, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE, Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellant.

          Michael M. Stahl, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee.

         ON BRIEF:

          Kevin M. Schad, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE, Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellant.

          Michael M. Stahl, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee.

          Before: SILER, CLAY, and McKEAGUE, Circuit Judges.

          SILER, J., delivered the opinion of the court in which CLAY and McKEAGUE, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          SILER, Circuit Judge.

         Clarence D. Schreane seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Specifically, Schreane argues that the police violated his Fifth Amendment rights when they denied his request for an attorney while being questioned at the police station. In the alternative, Schreane argues that the police officers' promises of leniency also made his confession involuntary. Due to the proper deference afforded to the state court, we affirm the district court's denial of Schreane's writ of habeas corpus.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The following factual background is taken from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals' ("TCCA") opinion on direct appeal of Schreane's conviction:

This case relates to the defendant's participation in the killing of Marcus Edwards on September 19, 1991. The Chattanooga Police Department investigated the murder; however, the case went cold and remained unsolved for eight years. In 1999, the defendant was incarcerated on unrelated charges when he contacted Chattanooga Police Department detectives and told them he had information related to the unsolved 1991 murder. The detectives had the defendant brought to their location to speak with him, and after a period of a few hours, the defendant confessed.
At the trial, the evidence showed that the defendant accompanied Charles Turner to the victim's place of business to help Mr. Turner commit a robbery. As the victim was talking to Mr. Turner, the defendant struck the victim with a rock, and Mr. Turner then shot the victim with a .38 caliber handgun. Mr. Turner took the victim's .357 magnum handgun, which was on the victim's body. Mr. Turner also took a cigar box containing cash and gave the defendant one hundred dollars as both men fled the scene in the defendant's 1983 Cadillac Eldorado.
Before the trial, the defendant filed a motion to suppress his confession, arguing that it was taken in violation of his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. At the motion to suppress hearing, Chattanooga Police Department Detective Mike Mathis testified that he was the lead investigator for the 1991 murder. He said the victim was shot to death and found in his business. Detective Mathis said few solid leads developed until the defendant contacted them.

         Detective Mathis said that sometime before September 19, 1999, Chattanooga Police Department Lieutenant Steve Angel had been receiving collect telephone calls from the Hamilton County Jail, which he was unable to answer. He said that the defendant's "significant other" contacted the detectives and told them the defendant wanted to talk to them about an unsolved murder. He said the defendant also called and spoke with Lt. Angel and told him enough specific information about ...


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