Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Reis-Campos v. Biter

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

August 8, 2016

Marcos Reis-Campos, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
Martin Biter, Warden, Respondent-Appellee.

          Argued and Submitted June 15, 2016 San Francisco, California

         Appeal from the United States District Court No. 3:12-cv-03369-SI for the Northern District of California Susan Illston, District Judge, Presiding

          Dennis P. Riordan (argued) and Donald M. Horgan, Riordan & Horgan, San Francisco, California, for Petitioner-Appellant.

          Gregory A. Ott (argued) and Michelle J. Swanson, Deputy Attorneys General; Jeffrey M. Laurence, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General; Office of the California Attorney General, San Francisco, California; for Respondent-Appellee.

          Before: J. Clifford Wallace, Mary M. Schroeder, and John B. Owens, Circuit Judges.

         SUMMARY[*]

         Habeas Corpus

         The panel affirmed the district court's denial of a California state prisoner's habeas corpus petition challenging his conviction by jury trial for second-degree murder.

         The panel held that under Brady v. Maryland, the prosecution concealed evidence that could have bolstered the petitioner's self-defense claim, but this error did not sufficiently prejudice the defense to warrant habeas corpus relief.

         The panel also held that there was no error under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act in the state court's rejection of a Napue claim of a violation of due process in the presentation of false testimony.

          OPINION

          OWENS, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Marcos Reis-Campos appeals from the district court's order denying his petition for writ of habeas corpus challenging his 2007 second-degree murder conviction. He correctly argues that the prosecution concealed evidence that could have bolstered his self-defense claim. However, the immensely deferential standard of review mandates that we affirm the district court.

         I. Factual Background and Procedural History

         On June 26, 2004, Reis-Campos-a Norteño gang member-killed Luis Guillermo Fuentes-the head of the local (and rival) MS-13 gang. The shooting occurred in Norteño territory in San Francisco, where Reis-Campos encountered Fuentes and his six-year-old son walking down the sidewalk. Fuentes wore blue shoes, MS-13's color. Reis-Campos was not wearing or displaying anything red, his gang's color. Reis-Campos shot Fuentes six times, hitting him in the face, back of the head, and back. After the shooting, Reis-Campos ran away, tossed the gun, and entered a laundromat, where he was arrested.

         A. Trial

         1. The Prosecution Case

         Reis-Campos was charged with first-degree murder in violation of California Penal Code § 187. In his July 2007 jury trial, the prosecution argued that Reis-Campos executed Fuentes to gain status in the Norteño gang, and that Fuentes disrespected the Norteños by wearing blue shoes in Norteño territory. The prosecution also contended that Fuentes was an easy target because his six-year-old son was present. While the prosecution acknowledged that Fuentes belonged to MS-13, it downplayed his violent history, at one point characterizing Fuentes as "a family man, " emphasizing that "[h]e has kids and he's a [house] painter." The prosecution contended that Reis-Campos' self-defense claim was "fabricated" and that his testimony about Fuentes' prior threats was not credible.

         To support its case, the prosecution called, among other witnesses: (1) Fuentes' son; (2) an eyewitness to the shooting; and (3) Reis-Campos' cellmate, who testified that Reis-Campos confided that he had confronted Fuentes, and after Fuentes pulled a knife and told him to leave him alone, chased down and shot Fuentes.

         The prosecution also called San Francisco Police Sergeant Mario Molina, the case investigator and gang expert. Molina testified about various gang practices. He opined that the killing benefitted Reis-Campos by helping him rise in the Norteño ranks, and the Norteños by providing recognition and warning rival gangs.

         In addition, Molina testified about his relationship with Fuentes. He claimed that he knew Fuentes primarily from soccer games at a local playground, and did not know of Fuentes' high rank in MS-13 until after Fuentes was shot. On direct examination, when asked about the March 2004 Norteño killing of an MS-13 member, Molina agreed that this killing could lead to MS-13 retaliation against Norteños. When asked whether he knew of any such retaliation, Molina first said that he did not recall any. Asked again, Molina said that he could not "think of any incident right now." And on cross-examination, he again denied any knowledge of retaliation: "I am not sure there was any specific retaliation for his death that said we are going to go kill somebody because [of the March 2004 killing]. I don't have that information." Consistent with his professed lack of knowledge, Molina said he was unaware of any specific MS-13 calls to kill Norteños.

         2. The Defense Case

         Reis-Campos testified in his own defense, and claimed that Fuentes was out to get him. While the two had started out on friendly terms, their relationship quickly deteriorated once Reis-Campos rejected Fuentes' attempt to recruit him to MS-13. Reis-Campos' dating a woman who was carrying the child of another MS-13 member only made things worse. Reis-Campos claimed that by December 2003, he was told that MS-13 wanted to kill him, so he shortly thereafter joined the Norteños for protection.

         Reis-Campos also claimed that Fuentes threatened his life on several occasions before the June 2004 shooting. These incidents included: (1) in March 2004, an MS-13 member shot at him (wounding his female companion); (2) in May, 2004, Fuentes and his associates driving in a car chased down Reis-Campos and his associates and shot at them; (3) in early June 2004, Fuentes pointed a long-barreled gun at Reis-Campos outside a pizzeria; and (4) shortly after the pizzeria incident, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.