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Reed v. Braman

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

August 15, 2019

BILLY EDWARD REED, #431634, Petitioner,
v.
MELINDA BRAMAN, Respondent.

          OPINION & ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, & DENYING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS ON APPEAL

          LINDA V. PARKER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         This is a pro se habeas case brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Michigan prisoner Billy Edward Reed (“Petitioner”) pleaded guilty to third-degree fleeing and eluding a police officer, Mich. Comp. Laws § 257.602(A)(3)(a), in the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court in 2015 and was sentenced, as a fourth habitual offender, Mich. Comp. Laws § 769.12, to four to 15 years imprisonment in 2016. In his petition, he raises a claim concerning the validity of his plea and the effectiveness of defense counsel. For the reasons set forth, the Court denies the habeas petition. The Court also denies a certificate of appealability and denies leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal.

         II. Facts and Procedural History

         Petitioner's conviction arises from a high-speed police chase that ensued when he refused to pull over for a marked police car attempting to stop him on April 2, 2015 in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. On December 15, 2015, the day set for trial, Petitioner pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree fleeing and eluding as a fourth habitual offender in exchange for the dismissal of an additional resisting arrest charge and an agreement that the prosecutor would not pursue an absconding charge (based upon Petitioner's failure to appear at scheduled proceedings). Prior to sentencing, Petitioner moved to withdraw his plea. On January 19, 2016, the trial court conducted a hearing on that motion, denied it, and sentenced Petitioner, as a fourth habitual offender, to four to 15 years imprisonment.

         Following sentencing, Petitioner filed a delayed application for leave to appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals asserting that his plea was involuntary because trial counsel was ineffective for failing to seek discovery and prepare for his case and pressuring him to accept the plea. The court denied the application “for lack of merit in the grounds presented.” People v. Reed, No. 334005 (Mich. Ct. App. Sept. 12, 2016 (Sept. 12, 2016). Petitioner filed an application for leave to appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court, which was denied in a standard order. People v. Reed, 500 Mich. 961, 892 N.W.2d 366 (2017).

         Petitioner thereafter filed his federal habeas petition raising the same claim presented to the state courts for direct appeal of his conviction. Respondent has filed an answer to the petition contending that it should be denied for lack of merit.

         III. Standard of Review

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2241 et seq., sets forth the standard of review that federal courts must use when considering habeas petitions brought by prisoners challenging their state court convictions. The AEDPA provides in relevant part:

         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; or
(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.

28 U.S.C. §2254(d) (1996).

         “A state court's decision is ‘contrary to' . . . clearly established law if it ‘applies a rule that contradicts the governing law set forth in [Supreme Court cases]' or if it ‘confronts a set of facts that are materially indistinguishable from a decision of [the Supreme] Court and nevertheless arrives at a result different from [that] precedent.'” Mitchell v. Esparza, 540 U.S. 12, 15-16 (2003) ...


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