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Lumley v. Davis

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

September 3, 2019

LORIE DAVIS, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, Respondent.



         Petitioner Jason Dean Lumley, a Texas inmate, filed a pro se application for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See Dkt No. 3. This resulting action has been referred to the undersigned United States magistrate judge for pretrial management under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and a standing order of reference from United States District Judge David C. Godbey. The State filed a response opposing relief, see Dkt. No. 19, to which Lumley filed a reply brief. See Dkt. No. 20. For the reasons explained below, the Court should deny Lumley's federal habeas petition.

         Applicable Background

         A jury found Lumley guilty of evading arrest, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and two counts of an accident involving injury. See Dkt. No. 15-17 at 130-133. The trial court found the allegations for enhancement to be “true, ” see Dkt. No. 15-19 at 3-10, and sentenced Lumley to fifty years' confinement. See id. On December 17, 2015, the Tenth Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment, as modified. See Lumley v. State, No. 10-15-00267-CR (Tex. App.-Waco December 17, 2015, pet. ref'd), 2015 WL 9256924; Dkt. No. 15-4. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (“CCA”) refused Lumley's petition for discretionary review on June 29, 2016. See Dkt. No. 15-13 at 2.

         Lumley filed an application for state writ of habeas corpus claiming constitutionally ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel on numerous grounds, and prosecutorial misconduct. See Dkt. No. 16-12 at 6-13 - Dkt. No. 16-13 at 1-2. On October 18, 2017, the CCA denied Lumley's application without a written order on the findings of the trial court without a hearing. Dkt. No. 16-5. On November 22, 2017, the CCA withdrew the previous order, see Dkt. No. 16-21, then denied Lumley's application for state writ of habeas corpus with a written order. See Dkt. No. 16-8.

         In his timely-filed federal habeas application, Lumley raises the following grounds for relief:

         1. Ineffective assistance of counsel by:

a. failing to challenge the State's version of facts,
b. preventing Lumley from testifying,
c. failing to file a motion to suppress,
d. failing to call a witness,
e. failing to raise proper objections,
f. failing to request jury instruction,
g. failing to request a limiting instruction,
h. failing to know the law,
i. failing to raise reasonable suspicion, and
j. failing to raise certain issues on appeal;

         (2) The prosecutor committed misconduct by allowing false and misleading testimony; and

         (3) The CCA incorrectly denied his state habeas application based on findings of facts and conclusions of law that were previously vacated by the trial judge.

         See Dkt. No. 3 at 6-7; Dkt. No. 11. Lumley initially also alleged that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to raise a violation of the United States Supreme Court's holding in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 443 (1966), see Dkt. No. 3 at 6; Dkt. No. at 7, but he subsequently withdrew that claim, see Dkt. No. 20 at 7.

         Legal Standards and Analysis

         I. Claims

         Where a state court has already rejected a claim on the merits, a federal court may grant habeas relief on that claim only if the state court adjudication:

(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).

         A state court adjudication on direct appeal is due the same deference under Section 2254(d) as an adjudication in a state post-conviction proceeding. See, e.g., Dowthitt v. Johnson, 230 F.3d 733, 756-57 (5th Cir. 2000) (a finding made by the CCA on direct appeal was an “issue ... adjudicated on the merits in state proceedings, ” to be “examine[d] ... with the deference demanded by [the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (the “AEDPA”)]” under “28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)”).

         A state court decision is “contrary” to clearly established federal law if “it relies on legal rules that directly conflict with prior holdings of the Supreme Court or if it reaches a different conclusion than the Supreme Court on materially indistinguishable facts.” Busby v. Dretke, 359 F.3d 708, 713 (5th Cir. 2004); see also Lopez v. Smith, 574 U.S.___, 135 S.Ct. 1, 2 (2014) (per curiam) (“We have emphasized, time and time again, that the AEDPA prohibits the federal courts of appeals from ...

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