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Crump v. Burt

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

September 25, 2019

WILLIAM CRUMP, Petitioner,
v.
SHERRY BURT, Respondent.

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

          Denise Page Hood Chief Judge, United States District Court

         Michigan state prisoner William Crump filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner challenges his convictions for three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520d(1)(a) (victim at least 13 years old and under 16 years old); three counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520e(1)(a) (victim at least 13 years of age but less than 16 years of age and actor more than five years older than the victim), and one count of accosting a child for an immoral purpose, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.145a. He raises two claims for relief. Respondent argues that several of the claims are meritless. For the reasons stated, the Court denies the petition and denies a certificate of appealability.

         I. Background

         Petitioner’s convictions arise from his sexual conduct with three girls, Neonie O., Shyya H., and Shadivia P. Shadivia testified that, in 2011, she ran away from a home for troubled youth, Vista Maria. Shadivia was fifteen-years old at the time. Two other girls, Shyya and Neonie, ran away with her. Shadivia, Neonie, and another girl known as Desi went to Petitioner’s home. Shadivia stayed at the home for about one to two months. She did not pay any rent. Occasionally, Petitioner asked Shadivia to have sex with him to pay for her room. She did not have sex with him, but he touched her breasts and buttocks numerous times without her consent. She also saw Petitioner touch Neonie in the same ways he had touched her. Shadivia testified that when Child Protective Services first questioned her she denied that Petitioner had touched her inappropriately because she was embarrassed and did not want the situation to escalate.

         Neonie testified that, in May 2011, she was fifteen-years-old. She left Vista Maria in early 2011 and went to Petitioner’s home, where she stayed for approximately three months. Several times, while staying at Petitioner’s home, she awoke to find him touching her leg and thigh, and trying to touch her private area. Petitioner suggested to her several times that she could have sex with him in lieu of paying rent. One day, she was standing in the bathroom when he entered, pulled her panties aside, and licked her vagina.

         Shyya testified that she too stayed at Petitioner’s home after running away from Vista Maria. She was thirteen-years-old at the time. On one occasion, she asked Petitioner to rub her back while they were watching TV. Another girl, Arizona Adams, was present in the room. After rubbing her back for a while, Petitioner placed his fingers in her vagina. Arizona left the room. Petitioner then penetrated her vagina with his penis.

         Arizona Adams testified that she stayed at Petitioner’s home for about a week at the same time that Shyya stayed there in 2011. Adams did not feel threatened while at the home and testified that Petitioner never touched her inappropriately. One day she saw Petitioner and Shyya having intercourse.

         Petitioner did not testify in his own defense and presented no witnesses.

         Following a jury trial in Wayne County Circuit Court, Petitioner was convicted of three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, three counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, and one count of accosting a child for an immoral purpose. Petitioner was sentenced as a fourth habitual offender to concurrent sentences of 25 to 42 years for third-degree CSC convictions, 1 to 2 years for the fourth-degree CSC convictions, and 2 to 15 years for the accosting a child for immoral purposes conviction.

         Petitioner filed an appeal of right in the Michigan Court of Appeals, raising these claims: (i) counsel was ineffective during plea negotiations; (ii) trial court improperly left Petitioner handcuffed during trial; and (iii) counsel was ineffective for failing to object to trial court’s decision to leave Petitioner handcuffed during trial. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner’s convictions. People v. Crump, No. 316583, 2014 WL 7157385 (Mich. Ct. App. Dec. 16, 2014). The Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal. People v. Crump, 498 Mich. 872 (Mich. Sept. 9, 2015).

         Petitioner then filed a habeas corpus petition. The petition raises these claims:

I. Mr. Crump is entitled to a new trial or the reinstatement of the final plea offer because his defense attorney provided constitutionally inadequate assistance under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment.
II. A new trial is warranted because the trial judge had Mr. Crump shackled prior to ever meeting him or his entering into that court room, where no record evidence exist[ed] of disruptive behavior, which is cruel and unusual punishment under the Sixth, Fourteenth and Eighth Amendment.

         II. Standard of Review

          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 ...


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