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Head v. Smith

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

January 12, 2018

CHARLES HUDSON HEAD, III, Petitioner,
v.
WILLIE SMITH, Respondent.

          OPINION

          Paul L. Maloney United States District Judge.

         This is a habeas corpus action brought by a state prisoner under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Promptly after the filing of a petition for habeas corpus, the Court must undertake a preliminary review of the petition to determine whether “it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court.” Rule 4, Rules Governing § 2254 Cases; see 28 U.S.C. § 2243. If so, the petition must be summarily dismissed. Rule 4; see Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970) (district court has the duty to “screen out” petitions that lack merit on their face). A dismissal under Rule 4 includes those petitions which raise legally frivolous claims, as well as those containing factual allegations that are palpably incredible or false. Carson v. Burke, 178 F.3d 434, 436-37 (6th Cir. 1999). After undertaking the review required by Rule 4, the Court concludes that Petitioner has failed to exhaust his available state-court remedies as to all claims raised in the petition. Because Petitioner has fewer than 60 days remaining in the limitations period for filing a habeas petition, the Court will not dismiss the action at this time, pending Petitioner's compliance with the further directions of this Court set forth in this opinion and attached order.

         Discussion

         I. Factual allegations

         Petitioner Charles Hudson Head, III is incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections at Ionia Correctional Facility (ICF) in Ionia, Michigan. Petitioner is serving concurrent sentences of 50 to 75 years, imposed on July 3, 2014, following his June 12, 2014, conviction by a Wayne County Circuit Court jury on one count of aiding and abetting third-degree criminal sexual conduct, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520d(1)(b), one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.84, and one count of armed robbery, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.529. The jury acquitted Petitioner of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of kidnapping. Petitioner's concurrent sentences are consecutive to terms of imprisonment for which he had been on parole when he committed these offenses.

         Petitioner directly appealed his conviction and sentences. In the Michigan Court of Appeals, through his brief filed with the assistance of counsel and his Standard 4 brief, [1] he raised seven issues:

I. The evidence was not legally sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Head aided and abetted in the third-degree criminal sexual conduct committed by another individual rendering that conviction constitutionally defective and necessitating reversal under the due process guarantees of the 14th Amendment and Const. 1963, Art. 1, § 17.
II. [Petitioner's] Fourth Amendment rights [were] violated where the arrest warrant was premised on false testimony.
III. [Petitioner's] constitutional rights to the effective assistance of counsel [were] violated.
IV. [Petitioner's] constitutional right to due process was violated where the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that [Petitioner] committed armed robbery.
V. The trial court abused its discretion by erroneously scoring offense variables 4, 7, and 10 contrary to the evidence recorded.
VI. [Petitioner's] constitutional right to due process was violated where the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that [Petitioner] committed assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.
VII. [Petitioner's] constitutional right to due process was violated where the eyewitness identification testimony was improperly suggestive and had no independ[e]nt basis.

(Pet'r's Br. on Appeal, ECF No. 1-1, PageID.18 (Issue I); Pet'r's Standard 4 Br. on Appeal, ECF No. 1-1, ...


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