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Davis v. Grandlienard

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

March 31, 2015

Jerome Emmanuel Davis, Petitioner,
Warden K. Grandlienard, Respondent.

Jerome Emmanuel Davis, #215587, MN Correctional Facility, pro se.

Jean E. Burdorf, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney, counsel for respondent.


DAVID S. DOTY, District Judge.

This matter is before the court upon the pro se objection by petitioner Jerome Emmanuel Davis to the November 19, 2014, report and recommendation (R&R) of Magistrate Judge Jeffrey J. Keyes. The court previously adopted the R&R on December 8, 2014, noting that Davis had not timely objected. ECF No. 41. Davis then filed objections, and the court vacated its previous order. ECF Nos. 42, 43. Based on a review of the file, record, and proceedings herein, and for the following reasons, the court overrules the objection and adopts the R&R in its entirety.


The background of this case is fully set forth in the R&R, and the court recites only those facts necessary to resolve the present objections. On April 30, 2009, Davis was indicted in Hennepin County, Minnesota, on one count of aiding and abetting first-degree felony murder, in violation of Minnesota Statutes § 609.185(a)(3). State v. Davis, 820 N.W.2d 525, 528-33 (Minn. 2012). A jury convicted Davis, and he was sentenced to a life term of imprisonment. Id. at 533. Davis appealed his conviction and the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed. Id . On September 6, 2013, Davis filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in federal court. On November 19, 2014, the magistrate judge recommended that the court deny the petition, dismiss this action with prejudice, and grant a certificate of appealability on one of the asserted grounds for relief. ECF No. 40. Davis now objects.[1]


The court conducts a de novo review of any portion of the magistrate judge's R&R to which specific objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); D. Minn. L.R. 72.2(b). A federal court may grant a state prisoner's habeas petition if the state court proceeding resulted in a decision "that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law" or "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).

I. Factual Objection

Davis first objects to the factual background set forth in the R&R. Specifically, Davis requests the court to strike the following: "According to Gentle, Davis had two passengers: a person he identified as Fifty, ' and Toriano Dorman." See ECF No. 40, at 2. That sentence was quoted from the Minnesota Supreme Court opinion affirming his conviction. See Davis, 820 N.W.2d at 528. When reviewing a state court conviction, "a federal court... presumes that the state court's factual determinations are correct, " and that "presumption may be rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence." Lee v. Gammon, 222 F.3d 441, 442 (8th Cir. 2000) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1)). Davis presents no evidence, and the court finds none, showing any error in that particular factual determination. As a result, the court overrules the objection.

II. Compulsory Process

Davis next argues that his right to compulsory process was violated when two potential witnesses were deported before trial. To establish a violation of his compulsory process rights, Davis "must at least make some plausible showing of how [the witnesses'] testimony would have been both material and favorable to his defense." United States v. Valenzuela-Bernal, 458 U.S. 858, 867 (1982). As correctly noted by the magistrate judge, Davis merely speculates that the witnesses would have presented favorable testimony, but he does not point to any evidence in the record to support this speculation.[2] Davis has not made a plausible showing that his compulsory process rights were violated, and as a result, the Minnesota Supreme Court's determination that this argument "lack[ed] merit" was not unreasonable. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d); Davis, 820 N.W.2d at 539. The court therefore overrules the objection.

III. False Testimony

Davis next objects to the determination that Jovan Gentle ” who was with Davis on the day of the offense ” did not knowingly testify falsely, and that the prosecution did not knowingly use perjured testimony. Davis restates the arguments made before the magistrate judge. After a de novo review, the court agrees with the reasoning of the magistrate judge. While it is true that Gentle's testimony at times contradicts previous statements made to the police, as well as other evidence, the record does not show that the testimony was knowingly false or that the ...

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