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Campbell v. Cothran

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Anderson/Greenwood Division

January 20, 2016

Clifford Claude Campbell, Petitioner,
v.
Warden Richard Cothran, Respondent.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE

JACQUELYN D. AUSTIN, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Respondent's motion for summary judgment. [Doc. 24.] Petitioner, proceeding pro se, is a state prisoner who seeks relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c), D.S.C., this magistrate judge is authorized to review post-trial petitions for relief and submit findings and recommendations to the District Court.

Petitioner filed this Petition for writ of habeas corpus on March 3, 2015.[1] [Doc. 1.] On June 29, 2015, Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment and a return and memorandum. [Docs. 24, 25.] On June 30, 2015, the Court filed an Order pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), advising Petitioner of the summary judgment procedure and of the possible consequences if he failed to adequately respond to the motion. [Doc. 26.] Petitioner filed a response in opposition on December 18, 2015. [Doc. 41.]

Having carefully considered the parties' submissions and the record in this case, the Court recommends Respondent's motion for summary judgment be granted.

BACKGROUND

At the time he filed this action, Petitioner was incarcerated in the Turbeville Correctional Institution of the South Carolina Department of Corrections pursuant to orders of commitment from the Clerk of Court for Florence County.[2] [Doc. 1 at 1.] Petitioner was indicted in July 2012 for trafficking in marijuana. [App. 432-33.[3] On June 17-18, 2013, represented by William Kirk Truslow, Petitioner proceeded to trial. [App. 1-417.] At the conclusion of the trial, the jury returned a verdict of guilty. [App. 408.] Petitioner was sentenced to six years imprisonment. [App. 416; Doc. 1 at 1.]

Direct Appeal

Petitioner appealed his conviction. Lara M. Claudy ("Claudy") of the South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense filed an Anders [4] brief on Petitioner's behalf, dated March 24, 2014, in the South Carolina Court of Appeals, raising the following issue:

Did the court err in denying Appellant's motion to suppress evidence contained in a cell phone that was seized from Appellant's person incident to his arrest where Appellant was unlawfully arrested without an arrest warrant and without probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment?

[Doc. 25-3 at 4.] At the same time, Claudy filed a petition to be relieved as counsel. [ Id. at 18.] Petitioner filed a pro se brief, dated June 9, 2014, raising the following issues, quoted substantially verbatim:

1. Did the trial court err in denying Appellant's motion to suppress evidence contained in a cell phone that was supposedly seized from Appellant's person "allegedly" incident to is arrest, where Appellant was unlawfully arrested without arrest warrant or probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment, where search was, inn actuality, precedent to his unlawful arrest?
2. Did the trial court err in allowing the state's witness, Shawn Luron Davis, to testify under SCRE, Rule 404(b) after the trial court misconstrues his evidentiary hearing testimony about length of the time dealing with appellant, that was part the trial court's stated grounds for allowing him to testify, when the trial court, on it's own initiative, later pointed out that his testimony was "contrary" to his U.S. government debriefing and state failed to support entire testimony with any credible or substantiated at all, when if testimony had been truthful, it could have?
3. Did the trial court err in denying Appellant Campbell's motion for directed verdict when the state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt through the testimony of Mr. Shawn Luron Davis, that Appellant Campbell had any knowledge of what was in the package that was delivered by S.L.E.D. agents on February 28, 2012?
4. Did the trial court err in allowing national origin based (race) discriminatory testimony by agent Denis Tracy that was not an issue before the court violated SCACR, Rule 501, Judicial Conduct; Canon 3B(6), that had nothing but a prejudicial effect against Appellant Campbell?

[Doc. 25-4 at 7.] The South Carolina Court of Appeals dismissed Petitioner's appeal and granted Claudy's motion to be relieved on January 28, 2015. [Doc. 25-5.] Remittitur was issued on February 18, 2015. [Doc. 25-6.] Petitioner did not pursue post-conviction relied in state court.

Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

As previously stated, Petitioner filed the Petition on March 3, 2015. [Doc. 1.] In his Petition, Petitioner raises the following grounds for relief, quoted substantially verbatim:

Ground One: Suppression of evidence due to an unlawful search and seizure
Supporting Facts: Petitioner was seized and searched, after a controlled package delivery by law enforcement, when alleged codefenant, accepted an signed for, then placed the "still unopened" package inside residence, thus, officers served an "anticipatory" search warrant which, specifically stated the persons to be searched were, all persons "IN" the residence, of which, Petitioner was not found to be in the residence, but found either on the, back porch or, not enclosed back yard, disqualifying curtilage. Property sought (phones) that, were on Petitioner's person, were beyond scope of any search warrant, when Petitioner was not found to be "IN" the residence, as the search warrant specifically stated.
Ground Two: Suppression of prior bad act testimony under SCRE 404(b) of alleged codefendant that, was not subject of conviction, and, if true, could have been proven
Supporting Facts: The trial court allowed the state's witness, Shawn Luron Davis, to testify, under SCRE Rule 404(b) after the trial court misconstrued his evidentiary hearing testimony about length of time dealing with Petitioner, that was part of the trial court's stated grounds for allowing him to testify, when the trial court, on it's own initiative, later pointed out that his testimony was "contrary" to his U.S. government debriefing and the state failed to support entire testimony with an credible or substantiated evidence at all, when if testimony had been truthful, it could have.
Ground Three: Denial of Petitioner's directed verdict motion
Supporting Facts: The trial court denied Petitioner's motion for directed verdict, after the state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt, through testimony of Mr. Shawn Luron Davis, (only evidence) that Petitioner had any knowledge of what was in the package, that was delivered by S.L.E.D. agents on February 28, 2012.
Ground Four: National origin (race) based testimony (plain error) prejudicial to Appellant
Supporting Facts: The trial court allowed national origin (race) based discriminatory testimony by agent Dennis Tracy, that was not an issue before the court and violated SCECP, Rule 501, Judicial Conduct; Canon 3B(6), that had nothing but a prejudicial effect against Petitioner.

[Doc. 1.]

As stated, on June 29, 2015, Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment. [Doc. 24.] On December 18, 2015, Petitioner filed a response in opposition. [Doc. 41.] ...


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