Wiley v. Grimmer, 031312 FED5, 10-31051

Docket Nº:10-31051
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM:
Party Name:JESSIE JAMES WILEY, Petitioner-Appellant v. HARVEY GRIMMER, WARDEN, Respondent-Appellee
Judge Panel:Before JOLLY, DAVIS, and BARKSDALE, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:March 13, 2012
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

JESSIE JAMES WILEY, Petitioner-Appellant


HARVEY GRIMMER, WARDEN, Respondent-Appellee

No. 10-31051

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

March 13, 2012

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division

Before JOLLY, DAVIS, and BARKSDALE, Circuit Judges.


Petitioner Jessie James Wiley appeals the denial of his petition for habeas corpus arguing that his trial attorney's failure to challenge the inclusion on the jury of an employee of the parish sheriff's department constituted ineffective assistance of counsel. Because we find that the record shows the juror was not impliedly biased and petitioner suffered no prejudice, we affirm the district court's denial of habeas relief.


Jessie James Wiley (Wiley) was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in Tensas Parish, Louisiana. During the jury selection for his trial in state court, Wiley's attorney did not challenge the inclusion of Richard Townsend (Townsend), an employee of the parish sheriff's department. Townsend stated to the court that he was employed as a janitor at a local high school, and that he worked on the night shift as a jailer with the Tensas Parish Sheriff's office. Townsend had been employed as a jailer for about two months prior to the trial, during which time he had heard nothing about Wiley's case other than "street talk." When asked whether he would be able to vote "not guilty" if he felt that the state failed to meet its burden of proof, Townsend said that he would. Neither Thomas nor the state's attorney objected to the placement of Townsend on the jury.

At trial, the Sheriff of Tensas Parish served as the state's case agent and its first witness against Wiley. Two of the sheriff's deputies testified as fact witnesses against Wiley. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury voted 10-2 to convict Wiley. Townsend, the jury foreman, voted with the majority.

After his sentence and conviction were affirmed on direct appeal, Wiley filed a pro se petition in state court for post-conviction relief. He asserted, inter alia, that the jury was unconstitutionally selected because it included Townsend, a jailer, and Marcus Harvey (Harvey), who was employed as a patrolman in Tensas Parish. Wiley also argued that his counsel's failure to challenge Townsend constituted ineffective assistance of...

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