United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
M. LAWSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Darryl Cain stole a car at gunpoint from Courtney Spires in
Detroit in 2010. For his efforts, he was convicted of
carjacking and related crimes and sent to prison for at least
20 years. Following his unsuccessful appeals through the
state courts, he filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, alleging a variety of claims, 14
in all. None of the claims, however, supports issuance of the
writ. The Court therefore will deny the petition.
Michigan Court of Appeals summarized the facts of the case on
direct appeal as follows:
This case arises from a carjacking that occurred in Detroit
on June 4, 2010. Courtney Spires was driving home in his
mother's 1995 gold Saturn. When he stopped at a red light
at the intersection of East Grand Boulevard and Mack, a van
pulled up next to Spires on the driver's side of his
vehicle. Spires could not see the driver of the van, but he
testified that defendant appeared at his window, pointed a
silver revolver at him, and told him to get out of the car.
Defendant ordered Spires to take off his pants and boots and
stole them, along with Spires's wallet and cell phone.
Defendant then sat in the driver's seat of the Saturn, a
woman got into the front passenger seat, and they drove away
as the van followed. Shortly thereafter, Spires reported the
crime to the police and described the perpetrators as a black
male and a black female.
On June 7, 2010, at about 12:40 p.m., Sergeant Frank Carroll
of the Detroit Police Department was driving in an unmarked
car near 11908 Wayburn in Detroit. Carroll worked with a
multijurisdictional task force focused on automobile theft in
Detroit and other nearby communities, including Grosse
Pointe. As he was driving past 11908 Wayburn, Carroll noticed
a gold Saturn in the backyard of an apparently vacant home.
Two black males, one of whom was defendant, were standing
near the car's raised hood. Using binoculars, Carroll was
able to see the car's license plate number. He called the
license plate No. in to the Grosse Point e Park police
dispatcher and discovered that the Saturn was a carjacked
Carroll called other officers and, when they arrived, they
walked into the backyard. At that time, Carroll saw a third
man near the front of the Saturn. He also saw a gray Ford
Explorer in the backyard, which he learned was also a stolen
vehicle. In addition, Carroll saw tools in the yard,
including a lug wrench that was attached to a wheel of the
Ford Explorer. Carroll and his team placed defendant and the
two other men, Denzel Walker and William Johnson, under
arrest. The officers searched defendant and found a key for
the Saturn and two bullets. They impounded and searched the
van that had been used in the carjacking and found a wallet
and several cell phones, including Spires's.
Carroll took defendant, Walker, and Johnson to the Grosse
Pointe Park police station for processing. Carroll informed
defendant of his rights, asked defendant questions, and wrote
down defendant's responses. Defendant said that someone
had told him about the stolen cars and he denied ever
carjacking any. He said that he was taking parts off the Ford
Explorer to scrap them. Defendant denied owning a handgun and
said that he found the bullets that were in his pocket. He
then refused to sign the statement.
On June 8, 2010, officers called Spires to tell him they had
recovered his mother's car. Spires went to the Grosse
Pointe Park police station to identify the perpetrator in a
photographic lineup. Although defendant was in custody at the
station, Carroll explained that the station did not have
enough young black men or the facilities required to conduct
a live lineup. To conduct the photographic lineup, Sergeant
Cregg Hughes compiled six mug shots, one of defendant and
five others of men of similar age, with similar complexions,
facial hair, and haircuts. When Spires saw the photographs,
he immediately identified defendant from the array.
People v. Cain, 299 Mich.App. 27, 33B35, 829 N.W.2d
37, 41B42 (2012).
jury found Cain guilty of carjacking, Mich. Comp Laws §
750.529a; unlawfully driving away an automobile (UDAA), Mich.
Comp Laws § 750.413; two counts of receiving and
concealing stolen property, Mich. Comp Laws §
750.535(7); felon in possession of a firearm, Mich. Comp Laws
§ 750.224f; and possession of a firearm in the
commission of a felony (felony firearm), Mich. Comp Laws
court of appeals affirmed the convictions. The Michigan
Supreme Court vacated “that part of the Court of
Appeals opinion stating that a ‘completed larceny'
is an element of unlawfully driving away a motor vehicle
(UDAA), ” affirmed Cain's convictions for
carjacking and UDAA, and denied the application for leave to
appeal in all other respects. People v. Cain, 495
Mich. 874, 838 N.W.2d 150 (2013). The Supreme Court denied
Cain's petition for a writ of certiorari. Cain v.
Michigan, 572 U.S. 1069 (2014).
then filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, which was
held in abeyance so that he could return to the state courts
to exhaust additional claims. Cain's post-conviction
motion for relief from judgment was denied, People v.
Cain, No. 10-006812-01-FC (Third Cir. Ct. May 26, 2015),
and the Michigan appellate courts denied the petitioner leave
to appeal. People v. Cain, No. 329210 (Mich. Ct.
App. Nov. 13, 2015); lv. den. 500 Mich. 864, 885
N.W.2d 294 (2016). Cain then returned to this Court, the stay
was lifted, and Cain filed an amended petition, which raises
the following claims:
I. Prosecutorial misconduct.
II. Trial court misconduct.
III. Double jeopardy - carjacking and UDAA.
IV. Lack of probable cause to arrest.
V. Improper photographic lineup.
VI. Delayed arraignment past 48 hours.
VII. Brady violation.
VIII. Insufficient complaint and warrant.
IX. Abuse of discretion.
X. Double jeopardy felon in possession and felony firearm.
XI. Subject matter jurisdictional defect.
XII. Ineffective assistance of counsel - failure to challenge
XIII. Ineffective assistance of counsel - failed to
investigate potential witnesses.
XIV. Ineffective assistance of counsel - prosecutor
misconduct and omittion [sic] of transcription.
Pet. at 5-13, ECF No. 11, PageID.67-75.
warden filed an answer to the petition arguing that some of
the claims are subject to the defense of procedural default.
The “procedural default” argument is a reference
to the rule that the petitioner did not preserve properly
some of his claims in state court, and the state court's
ruling on that basis is an adequate and independent ground
for the denial of relief. Coleman v. Thompson, 501
U.S. 722, 750 (1991). The Court finds it unnecessary to
address this procedural question. It is not a jurisdictional
bar to review of the merits, Howard v. Bouchard, 405
F.3d 459, 476 (6th Cir. 2005), and “federal courts are
not required to address a procedural-default issue before
deciding against the petitioner on the merits, ”
Hudson v. Jones, 351 F.3d 212, 215 (6th Cir. 2003)
(citing Lambrix v. Singletary, 520 U.S. 518, 525
(1997)). The procedural defense will not affect the outcome
of this case, and it is more efficient to proceed directly to
provisions of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty
Act of 1996 (AEDPA), Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214
(Apr. 24, 1996), which govern this case,
“circumscribe[d]” the standard of review federal
courts must apply when considering an application for a writ
of habeas corpus raising constitutional claims. See
Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510, 520 (2003). A federal
court may grant relief only if the state court's
adjudication “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, ” or if the adjudication