United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS, DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, AND
DENYING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS ON APPEAL
A. GOLDSMITH United States District Judge
a habeas case brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Following a jury trial in the Macomb County Circuit Court,
Eddie Wright (“Petitioner”) was convicted of
assault with intent to commit murder, Mich. Comp. Laws §
750.83; carrying a concealed weapon, Mich. Comp. Laws §
750.227(2); felon in possession of a firearm, Mich. Comp.
Laws § 750.224f; and possession of a firearm during the
commission of a felony, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.227b. He
was sentenced as a fourth habitual offender, Mich. Comp. Laws
§ 769.12, to concurrent terms of 10 ½ to 20 years
imprisonment on the assault, concealed weapon, and felon in
possession convictions and a term of two years imprisonment
on the felony firearm conviction to be served consecutively
to the assault conviction but concurrently to the other
convictions in 2014. In his pleadings, Petitioner raises
claims concerning the sufficiency of the evidence and the
validity of his sentence. For the reasons set forth, the
Court denies the petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The
Court also denies a certificate of appealability and denies
leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal.
convictions arise from the attempted shooting of Sheikh Nyang
following an altercation on Hudson Street in Warren, Michigan
on June 2, 2013. The trial testimony revealed that a fight
involving Petitioner and Nyang occurred on the outskirts of
Nyang's driveway, following Petitioner's threats to
kill Nyang and his family. While Nyang's two young
daughters played in the front yard, Nyang and his wife were
in the driveway vacuuming the inside of their car when Nyang
heard Petitioner say, “I'm going to kill you and
your kids.” 1/8/14 Trial Tr., pp. 41-42 (Dkt. 7-6).
Nyang did not recognize the man and responded,
“What”? As Petitioner approached Nyang, he again
threatened to kill Petitioner and his children. Id.
Petitioner was within six steps of Nyang, he pulled out a gun
from the inside of his pants, racked the chamber, and pointed
it at Nyang's head. Id. at 47. Nyang's wife
screamed as she rushed her children into the backyard.
Id. at 50, 77, 79. While continuing to point the gun
at Nyang, Petitioner pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed.
Id. at 50. Nyang heard the click and could see the
hollow point bullet protruding from the magazine.
Id. at 50-51. Petitioner attempted to clear the jam
by racking the slide again, but Nyang did not give him a
second chance. Id. at 54. Nyang lunged toward
Petitioner and they wrestled each other on the ground.
Id. Petitioner smelled like alcohol. Id.
Petitioner continued to try to chamber another round.
Id. at 50. Nyang managed to swipe the gun away from
Petitioner. Id. A woman, later identified as
Petitioner's wife, Malesa Wright, drove up to the scene.
Id. at 51. She yanked Petitioner into the passenger
side of her car and sped away. Id. at 54.
the altercation, one of Nyang's neighbors, a woman named
Tamika Watkins, called the police. Id. at 55.
Watkins saw the entire incident as it occurred, which
prompted her to call 911. 1/9/14 Trial Tr., pp. 8-15 (Dkt.
7-7). Watkins told the police dispatcher the getaway
car's make, model, and license plate number. Id.
police arrived on the scene shortly after the incident.
1/8/14 Trial Tr., pp. 100-01 (Dkt. 7-6). Warren Police
Officer David Huffman interviewed Nyang, Nyang's wife,
Tamika Watkins, and another neighbor. Id. at 102-03.
Huffman went to a nearby house to look for the perpetrator,
but no one responded so he began canvassing the area looking
for the getaway car. Id. at 104. Officer Huffman
located the car and saw a woman matching the getaway
driver's description on the porch. Id. at 107.
Huffman spoke with her and learned that she was
Petitioner's wife. 1/9/14 Trial Tr., p. 56 (Dkt. 7-7).
She admitted that a man gave her a gun that day, which she
put on the passenger floor of her car. Id. at 57.
She told Huffman that Petitioner was home and called him
outside. 1/8/14 Trial Tr., p. 108 (Dkt. 7-6). Huffman then
spoke to Petitioner who initially denied being on Hudson
Street that day, but then admitted that he had been there and
was involved in a verbal confrontation. Id. at 111.
Petitioner denied having a gun. Id. at 112. Huffman
arrested Petitioner and took him into custody. 1/9/14 Trial
Tr., p. 59 (Dkt. 7-7).
wife consented to a search of their home and car.
Id. at 59, 65. Officer Huffman recovered a partially
filled box of nine-millimeter bullets, which was missing six
bullets, from the laundry room. Id. at 60-61. The
police never found the gun, and they did not find any shell
casings or bullets at the scene. Id. at 67.
his convictions and sentencing, Petitioner pursued an appeal
of right with the Michigan Court of Appeals raising the same
claims presented on habeas review, detailed below. The court
denied relief on those claims and affirmed his convictions
and sentences. People v. Wright, No. 320619, 2015 WL
3389513, *1-4 (Mich. Ct. App. May 26, 2015) (per curiam).
filed an application for leave to appeal with the Michigan
Supreme Court, which was denied in a standard order.
People v. Wright, 873 N.W.2d 107 (2016).
thereafter filed his federal habeas petition. He raises the
Insufficient evidence or motion for directed verdict should
have been granted.
Resentencing for felon in possession and carrying a concealed
weapon. Respondent has filed an answer to the petition
contending that it should be denied. Petitioner has filed a
reply to that answer.