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Cleveland v. Campbell

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

May 20, 2019

DEVIN CLEVELAND, Petitioner,
v.
SHERMAN CAMPBELL, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

          Sean F. Cox United States District Judge

         Petitioner Devin Cleveland seeks habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner is a state prisoner in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections pursuant to convictions for first-degree home invasion, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.110a(2)a, and unarmed robbery, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.530. He seeks relief on the grounds that his convictions are against the great weight of the evidence and insufficient evidence supported his convictions. Respondent argues that Petitioner's claims lack merit. For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies the petition and denies a certificate of appealability.

         I. Background

         Petitioner's convictions arise from a home invasion at the home of Raymond and Aletha Stewart in Detroit, Michigan. The Michigan Court of Appeals provided the following summary of the facts adduced at trial leading to Petitioner's convictions:

On the evening of May 30, 2014, the Stewart family returned home to find their various household electronics piled near the front door. The family patriarch entered to investigate and discovered that someone had broken a bathroom window to enter the home. Mr. Stewart surprised defendant who was standing in a bedroom. Although the house was dark, Mr. Stewart observed defendant in the glow of a neighbor's flood light that shined through the window. Defendant jumped out of the bedroom window, dropping his cell phone in the process. Defendant's ownership of the phone was established because his photograph was the home screen image and because defendant later told Mrs. Stewart that it belonged to him. Mr. Stewart chased and apprehended defendant and restrained him until the police arrived. Defendant resisted, grabbing and “swing[ing]” at Mr. Stewart. Thereafter, the Stewarts reported that three televisions and a laptop computer were missing from the home.

People v. Cleveland, No. 2016 WL 683164 at *1 (Mich. Ct. App. Feb. 18, 2016).

         Following a bench trial in Wayne County Circuit Court, Petitioner was convicted of first-degree home invasion and unarmed robbery. On October 7, 2014, he was sentenced to 9 to 20 years for the home invasion conviction and 3 to 20 years for the unarmed robbery conviction. He filed an appeal of right in the Michigan Court of Appeals, raising the claims raised in this petition. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner's convictions. Id. The Michigan Supreme Court denied Petitioner's subsequent application for leave to appeal. People v. Cleveland, 500 Mich. 866 (2016).

         Petitioner then filed the pending habeas corpus petition. He raises these claims:

I. Petitioner's convictions for home invasion and unarmed robbery are against the great weight of the evidence.
II. There was insufficient evidence to convict Petitioner of home invasion and armed robbery.

         Respondent has filed an answer in opposition arguing that the claims are without merit.

         II. Standard

         Review of this case is governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”). Under the AEDPA, a state prisoner is entitled to a writ of habeas corpus only if he can show that the state court's adjudication of his claims -

(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the ...

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