United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Fredrickson, pro se.
K. Springer, MOWER COUNTY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, for
Patrick J. Schiltz United States District Judge
Jason Fredrickson was traveling in a vehicle with two of his
friends when the vehicle left the road and crashed into a
utility pole, killing both of Fredrickson's friends. A
jury found that Fredrickson had been driving the vehicle
while under the influence of alcohol and convicted him of
four counts of vehicular homicide. The court then sentenced
him to eight years in prison. After the Minnesota Court of
Appeals rejected Fredrickson's appeal and the Minnesota
Supreme Court denied review, Fredrickson brought this habeas
petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
matter is before the Court on Fredrickson's objection to
the December 29, 2017 Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) of Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung.
Judge Leung recommends denying Fredrickson's habeas
petition. The Court has conducted a de novo review.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b)(3). Based on that review, the Court overrules
Fredrickson's objection, adopts the R&R, and denies
Fredrickson's § 2254 petition.
argues that law-enforcement officers violated his Fourth
Amendment rights by drawing a sample of his blood
“while he was unconscious, without [his] permission,
and without a warrant.” ECF No. 9-3 at 6. As Judge
Leung explains, however, Fredrickson “had a full and
fair opportunity to litigate his [Fourth Amendment] claim in
the Minnesota state courts.” ECF No. 21 at 10.
Fredrickson's Fourth Amendment claim is therefore barred
by the Supreme Court's decision in Stone v.
Powell, 428 U.S. 465, 494 (1976) (“In sum, we
conclude that where the State has provided an opportunity for
full and fair litigation of a Fourth Amendment claim, a state
prisoner may not be granted federal habeas corpus relief on
the ground that evidence obtained in an unconstitutional
search or seizure was introduced at his trial.”
(footnotes omitted)). Nowhere in his objection to the R&R
does Fredrickson argue to the contrary; instead, he simply
addresses the merits of his Fourth Amendment claim.
also argues that the evidence was insufficient to prove that
he was driving the vehicle when it crashed. ECF No. 9-3 at
6-8; see also ECF No. 22 at 1-3 (“The
circumstantial evidence presented against petitioner . . . is
insufficient to support a conviction . . . .”).
Fredrickson points out (among other things) that the brain
matter and other DNA of one of his companions were found on
the steering wheel and driver's seat. Fredrickson argues
that this proves that he was not driving the vehicle when it
question here is not, as Fredrickson would have it, whether
“[t]he circumstantial evidence presented against
[Fredrickson] . . . lead[s] to a conclusion that is
consistent only with guilt and inconsistent with innocence .
. . .” ECF No. 22 at 2. Instead, the question is
whether the evidence presented at trial was so weak that
“‘no rational trier of fact could have found
proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.'”
McDaniel v. Brown, 558 U.S. 120, 121 (2010) (per
curiam) (quoting Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307,
324 (1979)). In other words, if a rational jury could have
either convicted or acquitted Fredrickson,
then he is not entitled to habeas relief.
evidence against Fredrickson would have allowed a rational
jury to find that he had been proven guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt. As the Minnesota Court of Appeals
Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the
evidence shows that: (1) the vehicle was registered to
Fredrickson's wife; (2) Fredrickson stated that he was
going to drive to town; (3) Fredricksonʹs shoe was found
by the brake pedal encapsulated by the vehicle; (4)
Fredricksonʹs injuries, including his fractured ankle
and severe left-side injuries, were consistent with him being
the driver; (5) two accident reconstructionists opined that
Fredrickson was the driver; and (6) the driver-side airbag
may have caused the pattern on Fredricksonʹs shirt.
State v. Fredrickson, No. A14-0689, 2015 WL 1959695,
at *6 (Minn.Ct.App. May 4, 2015).
addition, when Fredrickson was served with a civil complaint,
Fredrickson told the process server that he had been driving
the vehicle when it crashed, “then paused and said,
‘well, we really don't know who was
driving.'” Id. at *2.
on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and
proceedings herein, the Court OVERRULES plaintiff's
objection [ECF No. 22] and ADOPTS the ...