260 F.3d 531 (6th Cir. 2001), 99-3775, Campbell v Coyle

Docket Nº:99-3775
Citation:260 F.3d 531
Party Name:Jerome Campbell, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Ralph Coyle, Warden, Respondent-Appellee.
Case Date:August 01, 2001
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

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260 F.3d 531 (6th Cir. 2001)

Jerome Campbell, Petitioner-Appellant,


Ralph Coyle, Warden, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 99-3775

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

August 1, 2001

Argued: December 5, 2000

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Joseph E. Wilhelm, David H. Bodiker, Pamela Prude-Smithers, PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE, OHIO PUBLIC DEFENDER COMMISSION, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellant.

Jonathan R. Fulkerson, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, CORRECTIONS LITIGATION SECTION, Columbus, Ohio, Claude N. Crowe, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellee.

Before: RYAN, BOGGS, and GILMAN, Circuit Judges.


GILMAN, Circuit Judge.

Petitioner Jerome Campbell was convicted in 1989 of aggravated murder and sentenced to death by a jury in Hamilton County, Ohio. The Supreme Court of Ohio affirmed his conviction on direct appeal. Campbell's two petitions for state post-conviction relief were also unsuccessful. He then filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. When the district court denied the writ, Campbell appealed. For the reasons set forth below, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.


A. Factual background

On the night of December 23, 1988, Henry Turner, a 78-year-old resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, was murdered by an intruder in his apartment. Turner bled to death after being stabbed five times by a knife taken from his own kitchen. There were two wounds in his chest, one in his chin, one in his thumb, and one in his wrist. The wound to the thumb was described by the coroner as a "defensive wound." Turner's body was found with the knife still stuck in his wrist. The body was discovered on December 24, 1988 by another tenant of the apartment building, Leon Callins, a neighbor who had visited Turner the night before.

According to Callins, Turner's apartment was usually kept neat and clean, but the condition in which he found the apartment the next morning was not the way he had seen it the night before. The kitchen door appeared to have been pried open, the refrigerator had been moved, the door to the bedroom was damaged, and the bedroom was in disarray. Turner, who was known to be a local bootlegger, had a liquor cabinet in his living room that was found open, and the television in that room had been turned on its side. Callins testified that when he had visited Turner the previous day, the liquor cabinet had been closed and locked - the way it was "always" kept - and the television had been upright and turned on. Clarence Caesar, a criminal investigator who testified at trial, gave his opinion that the apartment had been forcefully entered by the assailant.

One of the police officers investigating the crime scene, Ronald Camden, questioned Turner's neighbors. Among the people questioned was Donna Roberts, a woman who lived in the building next to the one in which Callins and Turner lived. Roberts told Officer Camden that sometime late in the evening on December 23, 1988, she was walking toward her apartment building when she was startled by a man leaning up against a nearby vacant building. She testified that he was scarred on his face and was wearing dark pants. After greeting him, she continued on her way to her apartment.

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Roberts also said that the man was familiar to her, and that she and others who knew him referred to him as "scarface." She later identified this man as Campbell. According to Roberts, she had recognized him from when he had formerly lived in the same building as Turner and Callins. After talking to Roberts and other residents of Turner's building, Officer Camden learned that Campbell had previously lived on the third floor of Turner's building and, further, that Campbell's face was severely scarred with burn marks.

The police continued to question all who had access to Turner's apartment, and all who might have visited him. At the same time, Caesar, the criminal investigator with the Cincinnati police, identified a palm print above the lock on the door leading from the hallway into Turner's apartment, as well as a fingerprint on a lightbulb that had been lying on the floor outside. Both prints belonged to Campbell.

Based on all of this information, Campbell became the prime suspect in Turner's murder. On December 30, 1988, Officer Camden and several other officers arrived at the home of Pamela Campbell, Campbell's sister, where they discovered and arrested Campbell. Pamela Campbell gave the officers permission to search her apartment. From this search, they seized a half-full bottle of Bacardi rum, a pair of handcuff keys, and a pair of gym shoes with the left heel missing. The shoes were stained with what appeared to be blood.

Following the search, Officer Camden questioned Campbell after giving him the appropriate Miranda warnings. Campbell admitted that he had purchased liquor from Turner in the past, but denied having recently seen him. During the trial, Officer Camden gave the following summary of what was said during his interrogation of Campbell:

A I made the statement to him that I felt that he had committed burglaries before with people in the house asleep. At that point he says, "yeah I did." And then he said - he said, however, that he believed that he was committing burglaries in this case, the only difference was - no, I told him the only difference was - is that this time Turner woke up and he killed him.

Q Did he deny that?

A He denied that.

Campbell communicated frequently with his estranged girlfriend, Estella Roe, prior to his trial. During these conversations, by phone and in person, he would simultaneously admit to the murder and then deny having committed the crime. Campbell also repeatedly requested Roe to lie for him by telling the police that the two had been together on the night of the murder. He also wrote a letter to Roe, again requesting that she lie in order to create an alibi, and detailing what she should say. Roe turned the letter over to the police and ultimately testified at trial as a state witness.

While Campbell was in jail awaiting trial, he came in contact with two other inmates, Ronys Clardy and Angelo Roseman. According to both of these men, Campbell admitted to the murder on at least two separate occasions. Clardy, who was being held pending trial on a robbery charge, testified that, in January of 1989, Campbell described in detail the events surrounding Turner's murder. According to Clardy, Campbell told him that on the night of December23, 1988, he broke into Turner's apartment, took a knife from the kitchen, and went into the bedroom to go through another liquor cabinet located there. When Campbell knocked something over, Turner awoke. Turner then attempted to get a gun, but was stopped

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by Campbell, who started stabbing him. Clardy also testified that Campbell recalled having seen a woman outside of the apartment building heading for a bar on the night of the murder.

Roseman, who was also being held in jail on a robbery charge, related a similar conversation that he had with Campbell in January of 1989. At trial, Roseman testified as follows:

A . . . He said he went over to rob the guy. And when he get over there, dude wasn't going for it, old man wasn't going for it. The struggle came, he had to take him out. Exact words, he had to take him out.

Q Take him out?

A Take him out.

Q What did you perceive he meant by that?

A Took him out. Killed him, I guess . . . .

Q Okay. Did he say anything else at that point?

A Then he said - that after he took him out and came out, he said he know the girl didn't see him. That's what he kept talking about, the girl. He said that's the only way they could get me is the girl. I know she didn't see me. And that's the only thing he was worried about was the girl seeing him.

Both Clardy and Roseman testified at trial that they had independently contacted the police with the information regarding these confessions and, further, both denied making any deals in exchange for their testimony.

B. Trial proceedings

On January 9, 1989, Campbell was charged with aggravated murder pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.01(B) ("No person shall purposely cause the death of another . . . while committing . . . aggravated burglary or burglary."). His three-day trial, which commenced on May 3, 1989, was divided between the guilt phase and the penalty phase. At the guilt phase of Campbell's trial, the state called Callins, Roberts, Officer Camden, criminal investigator Caesar, Roe, Clardy, and Roseman as fact witnesses. In addition, the state presented as expert witnesses a pathologist who described the nature of Turner's wounds and a serologist who testified that Campbell's shoes had been stained by human blood. The serologist did not, however, determine the blood type.

Before closing arguments, Campbell's counsel requested that the jury be instructed on involuntary manslaughter as codified in Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.04(A) ("No person shall cause the death of another . . . as a proximate result of the offender's committing or attempting to commit a felony.") as a lesser-included offense to aggravated murder. The only difference between the two offenses is that aggravated murder requires proof of a purposeful killing, while involuntary manslaughter does not. See State v. Thomas, 533 N.E.2d 286, 288 (Ohio 1988). This request was denied by the trial court. After instruction and deliberation, the jury returned with a verdict of guilty on the charge of aggravated murder and two counts of aggravated burglary.

At the next phase of trial, the penalty phase, Campbell presented his sister, Pamela Campbell, and a psychologist, Dr. David M. Chiappone, as witnesses. Campbell's sister testified to the fact that at age five, both...

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