United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
Timothy M. Cain United States District Judge
matter is before the court on Petitioner Jose Reyes
Arevalos' petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. §
636(b) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2), D.S.C., all pre-trial
proceedings were referred to a magistrate
judge.Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett filed a
Report and Recommendation (“Report”) recommending
Respondent's Summary Judgment Motion (ECF No. 26) be
granted and the petition be dismissed with prejudice. (ECF
No. 49). The Magistrate Judge advised the parties of the
procedures and requirements for filing objections to the
Report and the serious consequences if they failed to do so.
Id. at 16. Petitioner has timely filed objections to
the Report. (ECF No. 60).
court is obligated to conduct a de novo review of every
portion of the magistrate judge's report to which
objections have been filed. Id. However, the court
need not conduct a de novo review when a party makes only
“general and conclusory objections that do not direct
the court to a specific error in the magistrate's
proposed findings and recommendations.” Orpiano v.
Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). In the absence
of a timely filed, specific objection, the magistrate
judge's conclusions are reviewed only for clear error.
See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins.
Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005).
Petitioner was indicted in May 2010 for accessory before the
fact to first degree burglary and two counts of accessory
before the fact to murder. He was represented by attorney
Patrick L. Mangrum, and on July 10, 2010, Petitioner pled
guilty to accessory before the fact to first degree burglary
and two counts of accessory after the fact to murder.
Petitioner was sentenced to thirty years imprisonment for the
accessory before the fact to first degree burglary charge and
consecutive fifteen years imprisonment for the two counts of
accessory after the fact to murder. He did not appeal his
convictions or sentences.
January 29, 2013, Petitioner filed a pro se application for
post-conviction relief (“PCR”) raising
ineffective assistance of counsel. Following an evidentiary
hearing, the PCR Court denied Petitioner relief on May 8,
appealed and his appellate counsel, Assistant Appellate
Defender Robert M. Pachak, filed a Johnson petition
raising a single issue of whether petitioner's guilty
plea was knowingly and voluntarily entered. Petitioner filed
a response to the Johnson petition, raising the
following issues: 1) Whether PCR Counsel failed to inform
Petitioner of the Petitioner's obligation to present
witnesses whose testimony was relevant to substantiate the
allegation on PCR; and 2) Whether PCR Counsel failed to
subpoena the translator who wrote Petitioner's statement
and the translator at the plea proceeding to substantiate
Petitioner's PCR allegations.
South Carolina Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition
for a writ of certiorari. The remittitur was issued May 23,
2016. On September 30, 2016, Petitioner then filed this
habeas petition raising two grounds for relief.
habeas petition, Petitioner raises the following claims:
Ground One: Petitioner's guilty plea was
not knowingly and voluntarily entered.
Supporting Facts: Petitioner had problems
with the police officer acting as translator present for his
statement. Counsel was not bilingual and did not have a
translator. Counsel failed to inform Petitioner that he could
challenge the statements translated by a police officer.
Petitioner believed there was an agreement with the
prosecution and counsel told Petitioner he would receive
between zero to fifteen years and no one explained the
difference between before and after the fact.
Ground Two: Counsel failed to subpoena the
translator who wrote Petitioner's statement and the plea
translator to substantiate PCR grounds[.]
Supporting Facts: Trial counsel admitted
that the interpreter “had a tough time