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Loynachan v. Davis

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

May 10, 2017

SAMSON M. LOYNACHAN, Petitioner,
v.
LORIE DAVIS, Director, [1]Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          REED O'CONNOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by petitioner, Samson M. Loynachan, a state prisoner confined in the Correctional Institutions Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), against Lorie Davis, director of TDCJ, Respondent. After considering the pleadings and relief sought by Petitioner, the Court has concluded that the petition should be dismissed without prejudice on exhaustion grounds.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner was indicted for capital murder in Tarrant County, Texas, in the death of Chloe Robinson, a child younger than six years of age. Adm. R., Clerk's R., vol. 1, 9, ECF No. 22-24. Following a jury trial, the jury found Petitioner guilty and, on May 29, 2012, assessed his punishment at life imprisonment. Id., vol. 2, 379 & 386, ECF No. 22-25. Petitioner appealed, but the Thirteenth District Court of Appeals of Texas affirmed the trial court's judgment, and, on November 18, 2015, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused Petitioner's petition for discretionary review. Id., Mem. Op., ECF No. 22-14 & Email Notice, ECF No. 22-17. Petitioner did not seek writ of certiorari or pursue postconviction state habeas relief. Pet. 4, ECF No. 3.

         II. ISSUES

         Petitioner raises ten grounds for relief that fall within the following general categories:

→ Ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel (grounds one through eight);
→ The accumulation of errors violated his right to due process (ground nine); and
→ All other constitutional error (ground ten). Supp. to Pet. 1-5, ECF No. 4.

         III. RULE 5 STATEMENT

         In her preliminary response, Respondent asserts that she does not belief the petition is time-barred or successive, however she does believe the petition is a mixed petition- i.e., raises both exhausted and unexhausted claims, and should be dismissed without prejudice so that Petitioner may fully exhaust his claims in state court. Resp't's Answer 4-7, ECF No. 24.

         IV. EXHAUSTION

         Applicants seeking habeas corpus relief under § 2254 are required to exhaust all claims in the state courts before requesting federal habeas relief. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1), (c)[2]; Fisher v. Texas, 169 F.3d 295, 302 (5th Cir. 1999). A state petitioner may satisfy the exhaustion requirement by presenting both the factual and legal substance of his claim(s) to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in either a petition for discretionary review or a state habeas corpus proceeding pursuant to article 11.07 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 11.07 (West 2015); Alexander v. Johnson, 163 F.3d 906, 908-09 (5th Cir. 1998); Bd. of Pardons & Paroles v. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Dist., 910 S.W.2d 481, 484 (Tex. Crim. App. 1995). Petitioner has not yet filed a state habeas-corpus application and asserts that all grounds raised in this federal petition are presented for the first time. Pet. 13, ECF No. 3. Petitioner asserts that he filed this protective petition to avoid expiration of the federal one-year statute of limitations, and he sought a stay and abeyance, which this Court denied on October 1, 2015. Order, ECF No. 11.

         An inspection of Petitioner's state court pleadings reveals that the petition is, in fact, a mixed petition. See Johnson v. Quarterman,479 F.3d 358, 360 (5th Cir. 2007) (claim raised in petitioner's response to Anders brief and pro se petition for discretionary review was fairly presented to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for purposes of exhaustion).[3] It is well established that a mixed habeas-corpus petition generally must be dismissed ...


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