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Eden v. Ryan

United States District Court, D. Arizona

March 11, 2016

Jace F. Eden, Petitioner,
v.
Charles L. Ryan, et al., Respondents.

ORDER

David G. Campbell United States District Judge

Petitioner Jace Eden filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Doc. 1. On January 12, 2016, Magistrate Judge Metcalf issued a 65-page Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) that the Petition be dismissed with prejudice. Doc. 34 at 64. Petitioner objected to the R&R. Doc. 37. The Court will deny the objections and accept Judge Metcalf’s recommendations in full.

I. Background.

Petitioner seeks habeas relief from a sentence imposed by the Navajo County Superior Court on April 5, 2012. That sentence is based on the revocation of probation in two cases: (1) a 2007 aggravated driving under the influence (“DUI”) conviction; and (2) a 2009 stalking conviction. It is also based on two new convictions: (1) a 2009 aggravated DUI; and (2) a 2011 sexual abuse. Petitioner entered into a consolidated plea agreement and received an effective sentence of 5.75 years.

A. 2007 DUI, CR2007-01075 and CR2009-00017.

Petitioner was indicted twice for events occurring on or about June 7, 2007. Doc. 26-1 at 13 (CR2007-01075), 18-19 (CR2009-00017). The first indictment included one count for aggravated DUI on a suspended license. Id. at 13. The second indictment included two counts: (1) aggravated DUI as a third DUI offense within 84 months; and (2) aggravated DUI with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more as a third DUI offense within 84 months. Id. at 18. The cases were subsequently consolidated for purposes of trial under Rule 13.3 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. Id. at 27. Petitioner was represented in this consolidated matter by attorney Kate Roberts. Id. at 15.

After a two-day trial, the jury returned the following verdict: (1) not guilty as to count one, aggravated DUI with a suspended license; (2) guilty of the lesser-included offense of count one of driving while impaired to the slightest degree; (3) guilty as to count two, aggravated DUI as a third DUI offense within 84 months; and (4) guilty as to count three, aggravated DUI with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more as a third DUI offense within 84 months. Docs. 26-1 at 135; 26-2 at 58-65. On August 27, 2009, Petitioner was sentenced to four months of incarceration with credit for one day already served, and four years of probation, to run concurrently. Doc. 26-2 at 69-70, 95.

Petitioner challenged his conviction on direct appeal. Petitioner was represented during the appeal by attorney Benjamin Brewer. Id. at 97. Petitioner raised four arguments: (1) the trial court erred in denying his request for sanctions based on the State’s untimely disclosure of the traffic stop and DUI investigation recording; (2) he was denied due process by the recording’s untimely disclosure; (3) he was denied the right to cross-examine and confront witnesses with the recording; and (4) the trial court erred in denying his request to stay his imprisonment pending appeal. Id. at 98. The Court of Appeals rejected each argument. Id. at 111. The court vacated, sua sponte, Petitioner’s conviction of the lesser-included offense of count one, driving while impaired to the slightest degree, because it was also a lesser-included offense of the aggravated DUI as a third DUI offense within 84 months charge, of which he was convicted. Id. at 111-13. The court found that this duplicate conviction violated Petitioner’s double jeopardy rights. Id. at 113.

Petitioner filed a petition for review with the Arizona Supreme Court. Id. at 116-25. Petitioner sought review only on the trial court’s failure to grant a continuance as a sanction for the State’s untimely disclosure of the recording. Id. at 117. On August 1, 2011, the Arizona Supreme Court denied the petition for review. Id. at 127-28.

B. 2009 Stalking, CR2009-00700.

Petitioner was indicted for events that occurred between February 2007 and April 2009. The indictment contained counts of stalking and influencing a witness. Id. at 156-57. Petitioner was represented by attorney Kate Roberts. Id. at 186. After a two-day bench trial, the court entered a verdict of: (1) guilty as to the stalking count; and (2) not guilty of influencing a witness. Id. at 192. On July 9, 2010, Petitioner was sentenced to two days incarceration with credit for two days already served, and three years of probation, to run concurrently with his probation term from the 2007 DUI. Id. at 221-22. Petitioner did not appeal the conviction or sentence. Doc. 34 at 6.

C. 2009 DUI, CR2009-00960.

Petitioner was indicted for events occurring on August 16, 2009. The indictment contained two counts: (1) aggravated DUI as a third DUI offense within 84 months; and (2) aggravated DUI with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more as a third DUI offense within 84 months. Doc. 26-3 at 12-13. The indictment was subsequently amended to allege Petitioner’s prior felony convictions and his probationer status as of August 16, 2009. Id. at 24-26. Petitioner was represented by attorney Benjamin Brewer until May 25, 2011, at which point attorneys Ronald Wood and Dirk LeGate appeared on his behalf. Docs. 26-3 at 28; 26-4 at 23.

D. 2011 Sexual Abuse, CR2011-00340.

Petitioner was indicted for events occurring on or about May 13, 2011. The indictment was for sexual assault. Doc. 26-4 at 166. The indictment was subsequently amended to allege Petitioner’s prior felony convictions and his probationary status as of May 13, 2011. Id. at 182-84. Petitioner was represented attorneys Ronald Wood and Dirk LeGate. Doc. 26-4 at 23.

E. Consolidated Plea Agreement.

On September 1, 2011, Petitioner entered into a consolidated plea agreement covering the 2009 DUI charge, the 2011 sexual abuse charge, and the probation violations related to the 2007 DUI conviction and the 2009 stalking conviction. Doc. 26-4 at 154-56; see also Doc. 26-5 at 32-37. Petitioner was represented during the change of plea hearing by attorney Dirk LeGate. Doc. 26-4 at 154.

On December 13, 2011, Petitioner was not present for sentencing and the court issued a warrant for his arrest. Doc. 26-5 at 39. Attorneys Wood and LeGate were permitted ...


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