United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Orangeburg Division
Jawan Robinson (“Petitioner”), a state prisoner
incarcerated at Perry Correctional Institution in the South
Carolina Department of Corrections, filed a pro se
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 (“Petition”)on December 15, 2014.
(ECF No. 1.)
2008, a Grand Jury indicted Petitioner for possession with
intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to
distribute marijuana, and assault while resisting arrest at
Georgetown County, South Carolina (hereafter
“State”). (ECF No. 23-3 at 78, 84, 90.) On March
16, 2009, Attorney C. Reuben Goude represented Petitioner
during his trial for these charges. (ECF No. 23-1 at 1.)
Petitioner was tried before the Honorable Steven H. John.
(Id.) After several pre-trial motions were raised
during trial and ruled upon by Judge John, Petitioner made a
motion to relieve his counsel and proceed pro se.
(ECF No. 23-1 at 41-50). After questioning Petitioner about
this request and informing him of his trial rights, Judge
John granted Petitioner's motion to represent himself and
relieved Attorney Goude as Petitioner's counsel.
conclusion of Petitioner's trial, a jury found Petitioner
guilty of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine,
possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and assault
while resisting arrest. (ECF No. 23-3 at 79, 85, 91.) Judge
John sentenced Petitioner to fifteen years imprisonment for
possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, ten years
imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute
marijuana, and ten years imprisonment for assault while
resisting arrest. (ECF No. 23-1 at 201.) Judge John ordered
the sentences to run concurrently. (Id.) Petitioner
filed an appeal in the South Carolina Court of Appeals.
Deputy Chief Appellate Defender Wanda H. Carter represented
Petitioner on direct appeal and filed an Anders'
appellate brief (ECF No. 23-1 at 205) and Petitioner filed a
pro se brief (ECF No. 23-2). On March 30, 2015,
Petitioner filed a petition for rehearing at the Court of
Appeals. (ECF No. 23-5.) On March 30, 2015, the Court of
Appeals denied Petitioner's Petition for rehearing (ECF
No. 23-6) and remitted his case to the lower court (ECF No.
March 30, 2015, Respondent filed a Return and Motion for
Summary Judgment, and the Return was missing a portion of the
Appendix. (ECF Nos. 23, 24.) Respondent filed a corrected
Return and Motion for Summary Judgment on November 25, 2015.
(ECF Nos. 46, 47.) On March 2, 2016, Magistrate Judge Kaymani
D. West issued a Report and Recommendation
(“Report”) recommending that the court grant
Respondent's Motion for Summary Judgment and deny
Petitioner's Petition. (ECF No. 58.) Based on the
Magistrate Judge's finding that Ground Ten was
procedurally barred, she did not review Ground Ten of
Petitioner's habeas corpus petition on the merits.
(Id.) On March 18, 2016, Petitioner filed an
Objection (“Objections”) to the Magistrate
Judge's Report. (ECF No. 64.)
September 30, 2016, the court reviewed the Objections,
Respondent's response (ECF No. 66), and Petitioner's
Reply (ECF No. 68), and accepted in part and rejected in part
the Magistrate Judge's Report. (ECF No. 71.) The court
denied Petitioner's habeas corpus petition on Grounds One
through Nine and Eleven through Thirteen of the Petition.
(ECF No. 71 at 3.) The court disagreed with the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation and discovered that Petitioner
presented Ground Ten of his habeas corpus petition in his
pro se brief on direct appeal. (ECF No. 71 at 8.)
The court instructed Respondent to refile the Summary
Judgment Motion so that the “court may have more fully
developed argument on [Ground Ten] issue.” (ECF No. 71
at 9.) The court remanded Petitioner's Petition to the
Magistrate Judge for reconsideration of Ground Ten of
Petitioner's habeas corpus petition. (Id.) In
response to the court's Order (ECF No. 71), Respondent
filed an amended answer and amended Motion for Summary
Judgment on December 2, 2016. (ECF Nos. 77, 78.) The
Magistrate Judge now only reconsiders Ground Ten in this
Report. In Ground Ten of Petitioner's habeas corpus
petition, Petitioner stated that the trial judge erred in not
granting his motion for directed verdict and failed to prove
actual or constructive possession. (ECF No. 1 at 20.)
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, filed on
March 30, 2017, recommends that the court deny
Petitioner's Petition and grant Respondent's Amended
Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 84.) Petitioner argues
that the State failed to present enough evidence, and the
trial court should have granted him a directed verdict.
However, the Magistrate Judge explained that Petitioner at
the close of the State's case moved for a directed
verdict, and the trial court denied his motion. (ECF No. 23-1
at 147.) At the close of all evidence Petitioner renewed his
motion for a directed verdict at the trial court's
suggestion. (Id. at 162-63.) The trial court denied
Petitioner's renewed motion finding that “there is
more than sufficient evidence, if that evidence is so
believed by the jury, to convict you of the crimes
charged.” (Id. at 164.) As previously
indicated, Petitioner appealed his conviction and sentence to
the Court of Appeals. (Id. at 203-34.) Specifically,
Petitioner's appellate counsel filed an
Anders' brief on Petitioner's behalf and
Petitioner filed a pro se brief (ECF No. 23-2).
However, the Court of Appeals denied Petitioner's appeal.
(ECF No. 23-6 at 1.) Furthermore, the Magistrate Judge
reviewed the parties' submissions to the court and
determined that Petitioner's Motion for a Directed
Verdict was accurately denied because there was more than
sufficient evidence of Petitioner's guilt to go to the
jury, and Petitioner has not shown that he was denied due
process at his trial. (ECF No. 84 at 16.) The Magistrate
Judge determined that the witnesses at trial provided
testimony to demonstrate Petitioner's constructive
possession of drugs. (Id.)
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation is made in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil
Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina. The Magistrate
Judge makes only a recommendation to this court. The
recommendation has no presumptive weight. The responsibility
to make a final determination remains with this court.
Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The
court is charged with making a de novo determination
of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which
specific objections are made, and the court may accept,
reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation or recommit the matter with
instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
was advised of his right to file objections to the Report and
Recommendation (ECF No. 84 at 18.) However, Petitioner filed
no objections to the Report and Recommendation. In the
absence of objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report
and Recommendation, this court is not required to provide an
explanation for adopting the recommendation. Camby v.
Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983). Rather,
“in the absence of a timely filed objection, a district
court need not conduct a de novo review, but instead must
‘only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on
the face of the record in order to accept the
recommendation.'” Diamond v. Colonial Life
& Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee's note).
Furthermore, failure to file specific written objections to
the Report and Recommendation results in a party's waiver
of the right to appeal from the judgment of the District
Court based upon such recommendation. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985);
Wright v. Collins, 766 F.2d 841 (4th Cir. 1985);
United States v. Schronce, 727 F.2d 91 (4th Cir.
thorough review of the Report and Recommendation and the
record in this case, the court adopts the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation and incorporates it
herein. (ECF No. 84.) It is therefore
ORDERED that Petitioner's Petition for
Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is
DENIED and Respondent's Amended Motion
for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 78) is