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Kiogima v. Brewer

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

November 6, 2019

STARR KIOGIMA, Petitioner,
v.
SHAWN BREWER, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER (1) DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, (2) A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, AND (3) LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS

          PAUL D. BORMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is a habeas case filed by a Michigan prisoner under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner Starr Kiogima was convicted after a jury trial held in the Eaton County Circuit Court of second-degree murder, Mich. Comp. Law § 750.317, and operating a motor vehicle under the influence (OUIL) causing death, Mich. Comp. Law § 257.625(4). Petitioner was sentenced to 25-50 years' incarceration for the second-degree murder conviction and 10-15 years for the OUIL.

         The petition raises a single claim, that insufficient evidence was presented at trial to demonstrate the second-degree murder element of “malice.” As explained further below, the Court will deny the petition because the claim does not satisfy the strict standards for habeas corpus relief.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Michigan Court of Appeals summarized the facts of Petitioner's case as follows:

This case arises from a fatal crash that occurred on I-96 on the afternoon of September 11, 2013. As defendant attempted to enter the highway, she drove her vehicle across some grass and crashed into a vehicle driven by Raymond Anderson. Anderson's vehicle was pushed across the lanes of traffic into a guardrail. Defendant's vehicle rolled over several times and defendant's four-year old daughter was ejected from the car. Attempts by passersby to resuscitate the child proved unsuccessful. Defendant was intoxicated at the time of the accident, and tests also showed the presence of controlled substances in her blood

People v. Kiogima, No. 326159, 2016 WL 4007873, at *1 (Mich. Ct. App. July 26, 2016).

         On direct appeal, Petitioner alleged error on bindover from the district court, ineffective assistance of counsel, and insufficient evidence to establish the element of the second-degree murder element of “malice.” A divided Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner's conviction. Id. The Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal in a standard form order. People v. Kiogima, 500 Mich. 997 (2017).

         In her timely filed petition brought pro se, Petitioner raises only the single issue of insufficiency of evidence of malice.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Title 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), as amended by The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), imposes the following standard of review for habeas cases:

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 ...

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