United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION
CARRILLO RAMIREZ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Special Order 3-251, this habeas case has been
referred for findings, conclusions, and recommendation. Based
on the relevant findings and applicable law, the petition for
writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 should be
DENIED with prejudice.
Stevenson (Petitioner), an inmate currently incarcerated in
the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Correctional
Institutions Division (TDCJ-CID), filed a petition for writ
of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The respondent
is Bryan Collier, Executive Director of TDCJ (Respondent).
Factual and Procedural History
April 25, 2012, the State indicted Petitioner for unlawful
possession of a firearm by a felon in Cause No. F12-54029.
(Doc. 21-7 at 13.). On May 8, 2012, he was indicted for
aggravated kidnapping in Cause No. F12-54028. (Doc. 21-3 at
initially pleaded not guilty. (Doc. 20-12 at 3.) On the day
that trial was set to begin in the 265th Judicial District
Court of Dallas County, Texas, he stated that he did not
understand the charges against him. (Doc. 20-13 at 8.) The
Court explained the aggravated kidnapping charge, and
Petitioner stated that although he did not know why he was
being charged with that offense, he understood the charges.
(Id. at 8-12.) He then stated that he did not want a
trial and that he wanted to enter an open plea. (Id.
at 14.) After consulting with counsel, Petitioner entered a
plea of no contest and executed plea papers that included
judicial confessions to both offenses. (Docs. 20-13 at 16,
17; 21-3 at 26-30; 21-7 at 29-33.) At the conclusion of the
hearing, Petitioner stated that he understood everything that
had occurred, and defense counsel stated that he believed
that Petitioner was mentally competent. (Doc. 20-13 at 18.)
Petitioner pleaded no contest, the State presented testimony
from the kidnapping victim. Defense counsel cross-examined
her, Petitioner testified, and defense counsel argued that
Petitioner was not guilty of kidnapping.
kidnapping victim testified that she met Petitioner and moved
in with him for about one month. (Doc. 20-14 at 7-8.) When
she would leave the house, Petitioner would get angry and go
look for her. (Id. at 8.) When he found her, he beat
her, put a knife to her throat, and said that she was his and
was not going anywhere. (Id. at 8, 19.) He pointed a
gun at her and threatened to kill her if she left him.
(Id. at 9-10.) Once, when she left the house, police
officers stopped her as she was being chased by Petitioner,
and she told them that he was chasing her. (Id. at
15.) He told them that she had stolen from him, and they
believed him. (Id.) Later, he locked her clothes in
a shed, and all she had to wear in the house was a t-shirt.
(Id. at 8-9.) Eventually, she had nothing to wear in
the house. (Id. at 17-18.) The house had bars on the
windows, and he put a padlock on the gate so that she could
not leave. (Id. at 13.) She was not allowed to leave
the house. (Id. at 18.) He sexually abused her, and
punished her if she did not have sex with him. (Id.
at 20-22.) Finally, when Petitioner was sleeping, she got the
phone from under his pillow, called her boyfriend who had
just been released from jail, and told him what was
happening. (Id. at 24-25.) He called the police, who
came to the house; firefighters cut the padlock and got her
out of the house. (Id. at 25, 27.) Police found guns
and bullets in the house. (Id. at 27.) Numerous
photographs of the interior and exterior of the house, and of
the victim's wounds, were admitted into evidence.
counsel cross-examined the victim at length. (Id. at
33-49.) He pointed out that she had prior convictions.
(Id. at 33-35.) He brought out that she knew that
Petitioner had received some money because he had told her,
and she saw a DVD that showed Petitioner receiving money as a
settlement for some matter. (Doc. 20-14 at 40, 47.) Counsel
suggested that she and her boyfriend conspired to have
Petitioner incarcerated so that she could take his money.
(Id. at 41, 47-48.)
testified that she was locked in the house for her protection
because her former boyfriend had threatened her. (Doc. 20-15
at 18-19.) He testified that she knew he had over $4, 000 in
the house from social security. (Id. at 20.) He
claimed that he never held her against her will or threatened
her. (Id. at 22.)
counsel argued that although Petitioner pleaded no contest,
the State failed to prove that he committed aggravated
kidnapping, and counsel asked the court to find him not
guilty of that offense. (Id. at 51.) Petitioner was
found guilty and was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment
in each case, to run concurrently, on November 30, 2012.
(Docs. 21-3 at 32, 21-7 at 35.)
judgments were affirmed on appeal. Stevenson v.
State, Nos. 05-12-01668-CR & 05-12- 01669-CR, 2014
WL 3555767 (Tex. App. - Dallas July 17, 2014).
Petitioner's petitions for discretionary review were
refused. Stevenson v. State, PD-1033-14 &
PD-1034-14 (Tex. Crim. App. Nov. 26, 2014). He filed state
habeas applications that challenged his convictions, signed
on July 14, 2015, which were received by the state court on
July 21, 2015. (Docs. 21-12 at 5, 31; 21-16 at 5, 21.) On
November 4, 2015, they were denied without written order on
the findings of the trial court. (Docs. 21-10, 21-13);
see Ex parte Stevenson, WR-71, 015-2 & WR-71,
015-03 (Tex. Crim. App. Nov. 4, 2015).
habeas petition, signed on January 21, 2016, challenges his
convictions on the following grounds:
State failed to prove aggravated kidnapping;
Trial counsel was ineffective because he:
(a) falsified the plea agreement by forging it;
(b) failed to expose perjury;
(c) failed to object to the admission of prejudicial
(d) failed to investigate and summon key witnesses;
(e) failed to investigate Petitioner's competency;
(f) failed to present Petitioner's mental health issues
(g) failed to present evidence of a documented medical
prosecution failed to disclose exculpatory evidence.
at 6-7, 11-13; doc. 10.) Respondent filed a response on April
22, 2016. (Doc. 19.) Petitioner filed a reply on June 28,
2016. (Doc. 31.)