United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING (1) THE PETITION FOR WRIT
OF HABEAS CORPUS, (2) A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, AND
(3), LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS
D. BORMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jackson, (“petitioner”), incarcerated at the
Michigan Reformatory in Ionia, Michigan, seeks the issuance
of a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
In his pro se application, petitioner challenges his
conviction for first-degree felony murder, M.CL.A. §
750.316(1)(b); armed robbery, M.CL.A. § 750.529; and
conspiracy to commit armed robbery, M.CL.A. §
750.157a(a). For the reasons stated below, the application
for a writ of habeas corpus is DENIED
was convicted following a jury trial in the Wayne County
and several women, including his girlfriend, conspired to rob
the victim. The plan called for petitioner's girlfriend
and her best friend to engage in a three-way sex act with the
victim. Petitioner entered the victim's house and struck
the victim on the back of the head with a tree branch. When
the victim fell, petitioner struck him again to prevent the
victim from getting up. Petitioner hit the victim for a third
time on the head, in order to render him unconscious.
Petitioner and his accomplices subsequently searched the
victim's home for money and stole some laptop computers.
The victim died as a result of the attack.
evening of July 11, 2012, Iashia Knox, Kristan Holmes, Zelda
Taylor, and others were at Taylor's house drinking
alcohol and smoking marijuana. Petitioner, who was
Taylor's boyfriend, was also present. (Tr. 10/22/13, pp.
30-34, 56, 114, 130, 156; Tr. 10/23/13, p. 12). The people
assembled at the house talked about “turning a
trick” with the victim, Hassan Jaber, meaning they
wanted to have sex with him in exchange for money. (Tr.
10/22/13, p. 57). The co-defendants agreed that Taylor and
Knox would engage in a “threesome” with the
victim at his home. (Id., p. 36). The plan called
for one of the women to leave the door open during the sex
act so that petitioner could come inside, “knock him
[the victim] out, ” and search the house for money.
(Id., pp. 36, 137; Tr. 10/23/13, p. 20). The group
traveled to the victim's home. Taylor and Knox went
inside, while Holmes and petitioner remained inside a car in
front of the victim's house. (Tr. 10/22/13, pp. 64-65,
69). Taylor, Knox, and the victim went into a bedroom and
took their clothes off and began kissing each other.
(Id., pp. 66, 68, 70, 141). During this time, Taylor
sent a text message to Holmes, which said, “Now.”
(Id., p. 69). After receiving the text message,
Holmes informed petitioner. Petitioner grabbed a tree branch,
entered the house, and hit the victim on the back of the head
with the branch three times. (Tr. 10/24/13, pp. 18-20).
admitted that he went to the victim's house after
discovering that the women planned to rob the victim,
although petitioner testified that it was supposed to be
Holmes's job to enter the house and search for money
while the other two women were having sex with the victim.
(Id., pp. 16-17). Petitioner testified that when
Holmes received the “Now” message, they thought
something was wrong inside the house. (Id., p. 18).
When petitioner went into the house with the branch, he saw
Taylor “shoving off [sic] saying wait a minute.”
(Id., p. 19). To “stop [Jaber] from whatever
he was doing, ” petitioner struck him on the back of
the head. (Id., pp. 19-20). The victim fell and the
two women ran out of the room. Taylor told petitioner
“just make sure he doesn't get up.”
Petitioner testified that he hit the victim again
“[be]cause he was trying to get back up, ” and
struck him a third time “to make sure that [he] could
try to knock him unconscious.” (Id., p. 20).
Taylor then searched the house for money and told petitioner
to take two laptops off of the table “because she said
they were hers anyway.” (Id., p. 21).
the group got into the car to leave, petitioner told the
others that he left something. The group returned to the
victim's house and petitioner retrieved the tree branch.
(Tr. 10/23/13, pp. 31-32; Tr. 10/24/13, p. 21). After
returning to Taylor's house, petitioner threw the branch
away in a vacant lot next to the house. (Tr. 10/23/13, pp.
conviction was affirmed on appeal. People v.
Jackson, No. 319254, 2015 WL 1313654 (Mich. Ct. App.
Mar. 24, 2015); lv. den. 498 Mich. 906, 870 N.W.2d
Petitioner seeks habeas relief on the following grounds:
I. The trial court committed reversible error, when it
obtained Petitioner's conviction by violating
Petitioner's state and federal constitutional rights to a
fair trial by an impartial and properly instructed jury,
contrary to the protections of the Sixth Amendment and the
Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S.
Constitution, and Constitution 1963, article 1, section 17,
and section 20, where the court refused to instruct the jury
on the supported defense of defense of others.
II. The trial court violated Petitioner's constitutional
right, when it obtained Petitioner's conviction by
denying a fair trial and a full opportunity to confront the
evidence against him, contrary to the protections guaranteed
him by the Sixth Amendment and Const. 1963, article 1,
section 20, and also a full opportunity to present his
defense under due process guarantees secured by the Fifth and
Fourteenth Amendments and Const. 1963, art 1, section 17,
when the trial court allowed one forensic scientist to
testify about DNA results obtained by another, absent
III. The trial court violated the Petitioner's due
process right to a fair trial when it obtained his conviction
by allowing photographs into evidence which were so unfairly
prejudicial that their admission was more prejudicial than
STANDARD OF REVIEW
U.S.C. § 2254(d), as amended by The Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), imposes the
following standard of review for habeas cases:
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 proceedings unless the
adjudication of the claim-
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved
an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal
law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States;
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented