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Hughes v. Palmer

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

January 23, 2018

Paris Hughes, Petitioner,
Carmen Palmer, Respondent.

          United States Magistrate Judge Patricia T. Morris


          GERSHWIN A. DRAIN United States District Judge

         Petitioner Paris Hughes, currently confined at the Michigan Reformatory in Ionia, Michigan, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus with this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Hughes challenges his convictions for armed robbery, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.529; first-degree home invasion, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.110a(2); unlawful imprisonment, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.349b; two counts of felonious assault, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.82; felony-firearm, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750. 227b; and possession of a short-barreled shotgun, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.224b. For the reasons that follow, the petition for writ of habeas corpus is DENIED.

         I. Background

         Petitioner was convicted following a jury trial in the Wayne County Circuit Court. Petitioner's co-defendant, Chaz Jackson, was tried separately and convicted of first-degree home invasion. The Court recites verbatim the relevant facts relied upon by the Michigan Court of Appeals, which are presumed correct on habeas review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1). See Wagner v. Smith, 581 F.3d 410, 413

         (6th Cir. 2009):

[Terrance] Minnifield, the victim, was at the gym on the night in question when he received a phone call notifying him that his house had been broken into. When he arrived home, the alarm was still sounding, the side door was unlocked, and his bedroom window was open. He called the police, who arrived over an hour later, and who left after asking minimal questions. Minnifield went into his basement and fell asleep watching television.
Minnifield awoke some time later to find two men standing over him, one of whom was pointing a shotgun at his face. Both men were wearing hooded sweatshirts and masks, so Minnifield never saw their faces. The man with the shotgun told Minnifield to turn off the security alarm. After Minnifield turned off the alarm, the men laid Minnifield on his stomach in the kitchen, bound his hands and feet with duct tape, and duct-taped a towel around his head. One man stayed with him, holding a shotgun to his back, while a second looked through his house.
At some point during the burglary, the police arrived at Minnifield's residence. One of the intruders untied Minnifield and tried to take him back to the basement. On the way to the basement, Minnifield was able to escape and run outside. The two men inside the house fled and the police officers pursued them. The police found defendant Hughes nearby, lying next to a white car, as if trying to hide. Hughes was sweating, he had a cut on his head, and he had shotgun shells and a hockey mask in his pocket. Defendant Jackson also was apprehended nearby trying to climb a fence. He was out of breath and sweating profusely. He later told the police that he was the lookout in the backyard, not one of the men who entered the house. The police discovered the shotgun on the floor in Minnifield's basement, a broken window in the bedroom, and a bag full of tools and duct tape. The house had been ransacked.
At Hughes' trial, Minnifield testified that he did not keep any weapons in his house and that he had never seen the shotgun used by his assailants before the night in question. At Jackson's trial, approximately six weeks later, Minnifield testified that the shotgun found in his house had always been there and was for protection. Minnifield admitted that he had lied about this fact at Hughes' trial because he was scared of going to jail, as possession of the shotgun was illegal. He claimed that all other testimony he gave was truthful.

People v. Hughes, No. 304182, 2013 WL 3021504, at *1-2 (Mich. Ct. App. June 18, 2013).

         Petitioner's conviction was affirmed on appeal. Id., lv. den. 495 Mich. 939, 843 N.W.2d 243 (2014); reconsideration den. 495 Mich. 997, 845 N.W.2d 115 (2014).

         Hughes filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, which was held in abeyance to permit him to return to the state court to properly exhaust certain claims. Hughes v. Winn, No. 2:15-CV-12653, 2015 WL 5063292 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 27, 2015).

         Petitioner filed a post-conviction motion for relief from judgment, which the trial court denied. People v. Hughes, No. 10-012684-02-FC (Wayne Cty. Cir. Ct., Jan. 29, 2016). Hughes acknowledged that he did not appeal the denial of his post- conviction motion to the Michigan appellate courts.

         On April 5, 2017, this Court granted Petitioner's Motion to Lift the Stay and File an Amended Habeas Petition. In his amended habeas petition, Petitioner seeks relief on the following ground:

A writ of habeas corpus should issue where, at a later trial of the co-defendant, the complaining witness admitted he gave perjured testimony on a material issue in petitioner's trial.

Dkt. No. 10, p. 9 (Pg. ID 89).

         II. Standard of Review

         28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), as amended by The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), demands ...

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