United States District Court, D. Arizona
HONORABLE JOHN J. TUCHI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Honorable John Z. Boyle United States Magistrate Judge.
Charles T. Crockett has filed a pro se Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. 8.)
Summary of Conclusion.
raises three grounds for relief in his timely Petition.
Specifically, Petitioner alleges that (1) the State's
“over[-]zealous prosecutor” engaged in
“vindictive, m[a]licious prosecutorial
misconduct” by “knowing and intentionally
suborning perjured testimony that he presented to the trial
jury” (doc. 1 at 6-11); (2) the “Trial Court
committed fundament[al] prejudicial error” by
“allow[ing] the State to continue to charge Petitioner
as a prohibited possessor [of firearms] when, the Trial Court
knew or should have known before trial that the gun charge
was false” (id. at 12-13); and (3)
Petitioner's trial counsel was ineffective in violation
of Petitioner's Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights
(id. at 14). Petitioner's claims are meritless.
Therefore, the Court will recommend that the Petition be
denied and dismissed with prejudice.
Facts of the Crimes.
Arizona Court of Appeals found:
In the predawn hours of May 26, 2011, W.H. and J.H. (the
victims) were at home asleep in their bedroom. They were
awakened by two men in their bedroom, who restrained them and
bound them with zip ties. One of the men held a handgun. The
intruders told them “Don't move and you won't
get hurt.” The victims believed that their lives were
After binding the victims, the intruders proceeded to gather
numerous valuables from the victims' home, including
cash, coin collections, and guns. When the intruders
finished, they drove away in the victims' car and another
After the intruders left, J.H. slipped her hands free and
contacted the police to report the home invasion. During the
course of the subsequent police investigation, Officer Hall
of the Phoenix Police Department was charged with finding
defendant, whose name had possible suspect. On May 28, 2011,
Officer Hall located defendant in Gilbert and began
surveillance of the surrounding area. Defendant left [in] a
vehicle in the early evening and the officer observed a
backpack inside the car. Defendant was carrying another
backpack when Officer Hall contacted him later that evening.
After taking defendant into custody, Officer Hall took
possession of both backpacks. When the contents of the
backpacks were examined, the items were identified as the
property of the victims.
Travis Correia testified that he and defendant committed the
home invasion. Another accomplice, Tausha Roberts, drove
defendant and Correia to the victims' neighborhood,
waited in her vehicle while the men entered the home and
collected the victims' belongings, and then drove to the
victims' home where the men placed several laundry
baskets of valuables in her car. Correia pled guilty to
burglary in the first degree, armed robbery and kidnapping
and, as part of the plea, agreed to testify at
defendant's trial. Correia testified that defendant
loaded a blue backpack with burglary tools, zip ties, and a
pistol and brought it to the victims' home. After the men
arrived at the victims' home, Correia used a screwdriver
to pry back the screen on a screen door and was then able to
unlock the dead bolt and handle lock. The interior door was
unlocked and the men entered the home.
Defendant entered the victims' bedroom first and shouted
“Don't fucking move.” Correia zip-tied W.H.
and defendant zip-tied J.H. After locating the victims'
keys, the men emptied the victims' gun safe and floor
safe. They collected all the valuables they could find and
left the victims' home. Defendant drove the victims'
vehicle while Correia left in Roberts' car.
(Doc. 13-4, Exh. L, at 47-48.)
Jury Trial and Sentencing.
trial, the jury failed to unanimously agree on a verdict for
the aggravated assault charges but returned guilty verdicts
on the lesser- included offenses of assault. (Doc. 13-1, Exh.
D, at 37-46.) The jury also found Crockett guilty on one
count of Burglary, two counts of Armed Robbery, two counts of
Kidnapping, one count of Misconduct Involving Weapons, and
one count of Theft of Means of Transportation. (Id.)
The court sentenced Petitioner to a “combined sentence
of thirty-one years imprisonment.” (Doc. 13-4, Exh. L,
September 24, 2012, Plaintiff filed timely notice of his
appeal. (Doc. 13-3, Exh. H, at 7-9.) On March 28, 2013, the
Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner's
convictions and sentences. (Doc. 13-4, Ex. L, at 45-59.)
Petitioner's Post-Conviction Relief Proceedings.
August 16, 2013, Petitioner filed a notice of post-conviction
relief. (Doc. 13 at 5.) The court appointed Petitioner
counsel (doc. 13-5, Exh. R, at 7-8); subsequently, counsel
filed a notice stating that she had reviewed the record and
had found no colorable issues to argue in a PCR petition
(doc. 13-5, Exh. S, at 9-11). On April 4, 2014, Petitioner
filed a pro per PCR petition. (Doc 13-5, Exh. U, at 15-51.)
Therein, Petitioner argued that his trial counsel was
ineffective by failing to move to sever his
misconduct-involving-weapons charge before trial
(id. at 18-39), and by failing to strike two jurors
during voir dire (id. at 39-45).
September 17, 2014, the PCR court filed an order dismissing
Petitioner's petition. (Doc. 13-5, Exh. Y, at 166-171.)
On October 17, 2014, Petitioner filed a petition for review
with the Arizona Court of Appeals, appealing the PCR
court's determination. (Doc. 13-6, Exh. AA, at 2-9.) The
Arizona Court of Appeals granted review and denied relief.
(Doc. 13-6, Exh. BB, at 17-19.) Petitioner appealed the
Appeals Court decision to the Arizona Supreme Court (doc.
13-6, Exh. DD, at 23-27), but was denied review ...