United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF
APPEALABILITY OR LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS
NANCY G. EDMUNDS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
Holman, ("Petitioner"), confined at the Muskegon
Correctional Facility in Muskegon, Michigan, filed a pro
se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his conviction for assault
with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, M.C.LA.
750.84; and being a fourth felony habitual offender, M.C.LA.
769.12. For the reasons that follow, the petition for writ of
habeas corpus is DENIED.
was originally charged with assault with intent to commit
murder. Petitioner was convicted of the lesser offense of
assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder
following a jury trial in the Wayne County Circuit Court.
Petitioner was sentenced as a fourth felony habitual offender
to 25 to 40 years in prison. This Court recites verbatim the
relevant facts relied upon by the Michigan Court of Appeals,
which a re presumed correct on habeas review pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1). See Wagner v. Smith, 581
F.3d410, 413 (6th Cir. 2009):
Defendant attacked the victim with a hammer at a mental
health treatment facility in Detroit. Before this incident,
the facility had banned defendant from its premises because
of his frequent and public drunkenness, and penchant for
harassing other patients and workers. Nonetheless, defendant
approached the center sometime during the afternoon of July
8, 2013. The victim, a patient who also acted as a voluntary
employee of the facility, told a security guard that
defendant was on the property. Defendant left the building
after the security guard asked him to do so.
Several hours later, in the early evening, defendant returned
to the treatment center and sat on the hood of an
employee's car outside the building. The victim, who had
just left the facility, saw defendant and attempted to get
back inside, but the door had locked behind him. As defendant
came toward the victim, the victim broke off a piece of wood
from a pallet to defend himself, just as another employee
opened the door to leave the building. According to the
employee, defendant told the victim "I should f* *k you
up, " and he proceeded to attack the victim, by pulling
a hammer from his pants and moving quickly toward the victim.
The victim suffered injuries to his arm and head from
defendant's assault and required 14 stitches at a local
Thereafter, the police arrested defendant and the prosecution
charged him with, among other things, assault with intent to
commit great bodily harm less than murder, pursuant to MCL
750.84. Defendant requested a jury trial, and the Wayne
Circuit Court empaneled a jury to hear his case. At trial,
the jury heard testimony from the victim, the aforementioned
treatment center employee, the doctor who treated the victim,
and defendant himself. The victim and employee testified to
the above. The victim's account of defendant's
assault was further supported by the doctor, who explained
that the victim's injuries were consistent with being hit
with a hammer, or attempts to avoid being hit with a hammer.
The doctor stressed that hammer blows are extremely dangerous
and potentially lethal.
Defendant's version of the events of July 8, 2013 differs
from the victim's and the employee's. He testified
that he visited the center on that date so he could speak
with its director about lifting the ban on his presence in
the facility. According to defendant, the victim confronted
him during his evening visit and told him: "B* *ch,
I'll meet you in the back." Defendant believed it
would be best to fight the victim, despite his knowledge that
the victim had served a prison term for murder. Outside the
back of the building, defendant claimed that the victim swung
a wood pallet at him, and he picked up a hammer lying on the
ground to defend himself. The confrontation devolved into a
brawl, which supposedly ended when the victim ran away.
Defendant left the scene and did not inform the police of the
victim's purported attack.
People v. Holman, No. 321918, 2015 WL 4635057, at *1
(Mich. Ct. App. Aug. 4, 2015)(internal footnotes omitted).
conviction was affirmed on appeal. Id., Iv. den. 499
Mich. 882, 876 N.W.2d 551 (2016).
seeks habeas relief on the following grounds:
I. Mr. Holman is entitled to a writ of habeas corpus where
the Michigan Court of Appeals decision is contrary to or an
unreasonable application of U.S. Supreme Court precedent when
Mr. Holman's ability to present a defense was violated
and the trial court forced him to waive his constitutional
right to remain silent.
II. Mr. Holman is entitled to a writ of habeas corpus where
the Michigan Court of Appeals decision is contrary to or an
unreasonable application of U.S. Supreme Court precedent
where Mr. Holman's Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights
to confrontation were violated when prosecutor failed to
produce res gestae witness.
III. Where the Michigan Court of Appeals decision is contrary
to U.S. Supreme Court precedent Mr. Holman is entitled to a
writ of habeas corpus when the court of appeals refused to
provide "plain error" review of a constitutional
violation [that the jury instructions were confusing and
contradicted the verdict form].
IV. Mr. Holman is entitled to a writ of habeas corpus where
the Michigan Court of Appeals decision is contrary to and/or
an unreasonable application of U.S. Supreme Court precedent
when Mr. Holman's sentence violates the Sixth and
Eight[h] Amendments and the prohibition on mandatory minimum
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:
An 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
in the State court proceeding.
decision of a state court is "contrary to" clearly
established federal law if the state court arrives at a
conclusion opposite to that reached by the Supreme Court on a
question of law or if the state court decides a case
differently than the Supreme Court has on a set of materially
indistinguishable facts. Williams v. Taylor, 529
U.S. 362, 405-06 (2000). An "unreasonable
application" occurs when "a state court decision
unreasonably applies the law of [the Supreme Court] to the
facts of a prisoner's case." Id. at 409. A
federal habeas court may not "issue the writ simply
because that court concludes in its independent judgment that
the relevant state-court decision applied clearly established
federal law erroneously or incorrectly." Id. at
410-11. "[A] state court's determination that a
claim lacks merit precludes federal habeas relief so long as
'fairminded jurists could disagree' on the
correctness of the state court's decision."
Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 101
(2011)(citing Yarborough v. Alvarado, 541 U.S. 652,
664 (2004)). Therefore, in order to obtain habeas relief in
federal court, a state prisoner is required to show that the
state court's rejection of his claim "was so lacking
in justification that there was an error well understood and
comprehended in existing law beyond any possibility for
fairminded disagreement." Harrington, 562 U.S.
Claim # 1. The self-incrimination/right to ...