United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
OPINION AND ORDER
T. PITTMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by Petitioner, Ricky Charles
Gillon, a state prisoner confined in the Correctional
Institutions Division of the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice, against Lorie Davis, director of that division,
Respondent. After considering the pleadings and relief sought
by Petitioner, the Court has concluded that the petition
should be denied.
March 2016 a jury in Tarrant County, Texas, Case No.
1433031R, found Petitioner guilty of aggravated assault of a
family member with a deadly weapon and the trial court
assessed his punishment at 60 years imprisonment. Clerk's
R. 171, ECF No. 13-12. Petitioner's conviction was
affirmed on appeal and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
refused his petition for discretionary review. Docket Sheet
1-2, ECF No. 13-2. Petitioner also filed a post-conviction
state habeas-corpus application challenging his conviction,
which was denied by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
without written order on the findings of the trial court.
2-17, ECF No. 13-20; Action Taken, ECF No. 13-16.
state appellate court summarized the evidence at trial as
Charlene Moore testified that she and [Petitioner] had
started dating in May 2014. But roughly two months later, on
July 10, 2014, while the two were sitting in her vehicle,
Moore told [Petitioner] that she wanted to break up. After
they talked inside her Hummer H2 for over half an hour,
[Petitioner] went to his pickup truck, returned to
Moore's Hummer, and tossed a box containing an engagement
ring in Moore's lap. Moore refused the ring; [Petitioner]
responded by stabbing her in the neck. Hearing Moore scream,
her nephew pulled [Petitioner] out of Moore's car.
[Petitioner] then ran to the Hummer's driver's side,
climbed inside through the sunroof, and resumed his attack. A
photograph shows that the Hummer's sunroof was large
enough for someone to climb into the vehicle with relative
The attack stopped when Moore agreed to drive away with
[Petitioner]. Instead, though, Moore drove down the street,
made a U-turn, got out of her Hummer, and ran into her house.
Once inside, Moore told her mother to call 9-1-1. Moore then
watched [Petitioner] bash her car before fleeing in his
When the police arrived, they saw a two-inch vertical cut on
the left side of Moore's throat that exposed her
esophagus. The officers called for medical help, and Moore
was eventually transported to the trauma center at John Peter
In Moore's car, the police saw blood on the driver's
seat, floorboard, and console. On the driver's side
floorboard, they found a handle for a straight razor. Outside
Moore's car, they found a bloody straight razor.
Moore's nephew told the police that [Petitioner] had
attacked Moore. The police went to [Petitioner]'s home,
and after a long stand-off, they arrested him there.
While in an ambulance at the scene, [Petitioner] admitted to
a detective that he had cut Moore's neck. Inside
[Petitioner]'s pickup, the police saw a red stain on the
center console that appeared to be blood. They also found a
shaving kit containing a box of razor blades on the front
The following day, the detective went to the hospital to meet
with Moore. Moore had tape around her neck and a tube
attached to her mouth, so the detective instructed Moore to
communicate with him by squeezing his hand once for yes and
twice for no. Moore responded yes when asked if [Petitioner]
was her attacker.
Mem. Op. 2-3, ECF No. 13-3.
three grounds for relief, Petitioner claims that: (1) the
trial court erred by overruling his objection to the
admission of his recorded statement to police; (2) he
received ineffective assistance of trial counsel; and (3) he
received ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. Pet.
6-7, 19,  ECF No. 1.
RULE 5 STATEMENT
does not believe that Petitioner's claims are unexhausted
or that the petition is successive or time-barred.
Resp't's Answer 6, ECF No. 14.
Standard of Review
§ 2254 habeas petition is governed by the heightened
standard of review provided for by the Anti-Terrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Under the Act, a writ of habeas corpus should be granted only
if a state court arrives at a decision that is contrary to or
an unreasonable application of clearly established federal
law as determined by the United States Supreme Court or that
is based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in
light of the record before the state court. 28 U.S.C. §
2254(d)(1)-(2); Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86,
100-01 (2011). This standard is difficult to meet and
“stops short of imposing a complete bar on federal
court relitigation of claims already rejected in state
proceedings.” Richter, 562 U.S. at 102.
the statute requires that federal courts give great deference
to a state court's factual findings. Hill v.
Johnson, 210 F.3d 481, 485 (5th Cir. 2000). Section
2254(e)(1) provides that a determination of a factual issue
made by a state court shall be presumed to be correct. The
presumption of correctness applies to both express and
implied factual findings. Young v. Dretke, 356 F.3d
616, 629 (5th Cir. 2004); Valdez v. Cockrell, 274
F.3d 941, 948 n.11 (5th Cir. 2001). It is the
petitioner's burden to rebut this presumption by clear
and convincing evidence. Id.
when the most recent state court to consider a constitutional
issue provides a “reasoned opinion, ” a federal
habeas corpus court must “review[ ] the specific
reasons given by the state court and defer[ ] to those
reasons if they are reasonable.” Wilson v. Sellers,
___ U.S. ___, 138 S.Ct. 1188, 1191-92 (2018). Under
those circumstances, a federal court should
“‘look through' the unexplained decision to
the last related state-court decision providing”
particular reasons, both legal and factual, “presume
that the unexplained decision adopted the same reasoning,
” and give appropriate deference to that decision.
Id. In other words, federal habeas-corpus courts
confronted with an unexplained state court decision
“are to ‘look ...