United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS AND DISPOSING OF PENDING MOTIONS (DOCS. 23, 24,
COHN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a habeas case under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner Kevin
Scott Varner, (“Petitioner”), a state prisoner
proceeding pro se, challenges his conviction for
unlawful possession of controlled substances with intent to
deliver, M.C.L. § 333.7401(2)(a)(iv), and resisting and
obstructing a police officer, M.C.L. § 750.81d(1). As
will be explained, the petition was held in abeyance so
Petitioner could exhaust a claim in state court.
the Court is Petitioner's motion to reinstate the
petition and motion amend the petition and expand the
record. See Docs. 24, 25. The motions are
GRANTED. See Rule 7 (a) of the Rules Governing § 2254
Cases, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254. For the reasons that
follow, the petition, as amended, will be denied.
was charged with the above offenses following a traffic stop
in Baroda Lake Township, Michigan on June 17, 2014.
elected to represent himself in the pre-trial proceedings and
at trial, with the assistance of stand-by counsel. Prior to
trial, petitioner filed a motion to suppress the evidence as
the fruit of an illegal search and seizure. An evidentiary
hearing was held, after which the trial court denied the
proceeded to a jury trial. Prior to the second day of trial,
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the denial
of his motion to suppress. The trial court denied the motion.
Petitioner was ultimately convicted.
conviction was affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals on
his appeal of right. People v. Varner, No. 324705,
2016 WL 1072203 (Mich. Ct. App. Mar. 17, 2016);
reconsideration den. No. 324705 (Mich.Ct.App. Apr.
filed an application for leave to appeal with the Michigan
Supreme Court, which was denied. People v. Varner,
500 Mich. 897 (2016).
then filed an application for writ of habeas corpus with this
Court, seeking relief on the following grounds:
I. Petitioner was not provided a full and fair opportunity to
litigate his Fourth Amendment claim in state court.
II. Petitioner was patted down for weapons without reasonable
suspicion and the frisk went beyond what was necessary to
determine if he was armed.
III. Petitioner received ineffective assistance of counsel
during the plea-bargaining process in violation of his 6th