United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
FERDARIUS S. SHINE, Petitioner,
JODI DEANGELO-KIPP, Respondent.
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS, DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF
APPEALABILITY, AND GRANTING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA
HONORABLE STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III JUDGE.
Shine is incarcerated in a Michigan prison and petitions the
Court for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2254. Shine's imprisonment stems from convictions for
three counts of first-degree, premeditated murder, Mich.
Comp. Laws § 750.316(1)(a), two counts of assault with
intent to commit murder, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.83, and
one count of possessing a firearm during the commission of a
felony ("felony firearm"), Mich. Comp. Laws §
750.227b. Shine's sole ground for relief alleges that
there was insufficient evidence at trial to overcome his
insanity defense. There was conflicting expert testimony
regarding Shine's alleged insanity, but the state
appellate court ruled that the prosecution presented
sufficient evidence to support Shine's convictions and to
overcome his insanity defense. The appellate court's
decision was not unreasonable and therefore, under the
"doubly deferential" standard for reviewing habeas
claims challenging the sufficiency of the evidence,
Shine's habeas petition must be denied.
charges arose from multiple shootings at a home on Winthrop
Street in Detroit, Michigan on February 15, 2013. The state
court described the incident as follows:
Defendant was present for a family gathering that evening at
the home he shared with his grandmother and his
seven-year-old daughter. Defendant went upstairs, and when he
returned, he had a gun and opened fire on all six family
members present in the home. He shot and killed his aunt and
grandmother, and mortally wounded his daughter, who died in
the hospital 33 days after the shooting. He beat his mother
with his fists and chased his 16-year-old cousin down the
street before she managed to find safety with neighbors.
People v. Shine, No. 321763, 2015 WL 5314879, at *1
(Mich. Ct. App., Sept. 10, 2015).
was tried before a jury in Wayne County Circuit Court, where
his defense was that he was legally insane at the time of the
crimes. He did not testify at trial, but forensic
psychologist Steven Miller testified on Shine's behalf.
In Miller's opinion, Shine suffered from one or more
mental disorders and was legally insane at the time of the
crimes. But the prosecution's rebuttal witness, Dr. Donna
Rinnas, reached the opposite conclusion. She testified that,
in her opinion, Shine was neither mentally ill, nor legally
trial court instructed the jurors that they could find Shine
not guilty, not guilty by reason of insanity, guilty as
charged, or guilty, but mentally ill. On the first-degree
murder charges, the jurors were given the additional option
of finding Shine guilty of the lesser offense of
second-degree murder. On April 7, 2014, the jury acquitted
Shine of one count of assault with intent to commit murder,
found him guilty of the other two counts of assault with
intent to commit murder, and likewise found him guilty of the
three counts of first-degree murder and one count of
trial court sentenced Shine to mandatory life imprisonment
without the possibility of parole for the murder convictions,
concurrent terms of 225 months (eighteen years, nine months)
to seventy-five years in prison for the two assault
convictions, and a consecutive term of two years in prison
for the felony-firearm conviction. The Michigan Court of
Appeals affirmed Shine's convictions in an unpublished
decision, see Shine, 2015 WL 5314879, and on March 29, 2016,
the Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal, see
People v. Shine, 499 Mich. 882 (2016). On July 25, 2016,
Shine filed his habeas corpus petition.
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
("AEDPA") requires habeas petitioners who challenge
"a matter adjudicated on the merits in State court to
show that the relevant state court decision (1) was contrary
to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly
established Federal law, or (2) was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented
in the State court proceedings." Wilson v.
Sellers, 138 S.Ct. 1188, 1191 (2018) (quoting 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(d)) (quotation marks omitted). "[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. Rather, that application must
also be unreasonable." Williams v. Taylor, 529
U.S. 362, 411 (2000). Consequently, AEDPA imposes a highly
deferential standard that demands state-court decisions be
given the benefit of the doubt. Renico v. Lett, 559
U.S. 766, 773 (2010).
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) (quoting Yarborough v.
Alvarado, 541 U.S. 652, 664 (2004)). To obtain a writ of
habeas corpus from a federal court, a state prisoner must
show that the state court's ruling on his or her claim
"was so lacking in justification that there was an error
well understood and comprehended in existing law beyond any
possibility for fairminded disagreement." Id.
alleges that his convictions violate due process of law and
must be vacated because there was insufficient evidence to
overcome his insanity defense. He claims that he proved the
defense by a preponderance of the evidence and that the
prosecution failed to rebut ...