Davidson v. Sullivan

Decision Date08 June 2018
Docket NumberCase No.: 17cv0421 H (MDD)
CourtU.S. District Court — Southern District of California
PartiesRYAN PATRICK DAVIDSON, Petitioner, v. W.J. SULLIVAN, Warden, Respondent.




Petitioner Ryan Patrick Davidson ("Petitioner" or "Davidson"), a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his San Diego Superior Court conviction in case number SCD236535. (Pet. at 1, ECF No. 1 at 1.)1 Petitioner has also filed motions for an evidentiary hearing, motions for judicial notice and a request for copies. (See ECF Nos. 43, 50, 64, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77.) The Court has reviewed the Petition, the Answer and Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of the Answer, the Traverse, the lodgments, motions and all the supporting documents submitted by both parties. For the reasons discussed below, the Court DENIES Petitioner's requests for judicial notice, DENIES the motions for an evidentiary hearing and DENIES the request for copies. The Court further RECOMMENDS the Petition be DENIED.


This Court gives deference to state court findings of fact and presumes them to be correct; Petitioner may rebut the presumption of correctness, but only by clear and convincing evidence. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1) (West 2006); see also Parke v. Raley, 506 U.S. 20, 35-36 (1992) (holding findings of historical fact, including inferences properly drawn from these facts, are entitled to statutory presumption of correctness). The following facts are taken from the California Court of Appeal opinion:

The charges in this case arose from defendant's highly assaultive conduct on his girlfriend (CC) over a period of several months. On September 13, 2011, CC fled from defendant and reported the domestic violence to a neighbor, her family, emergency room personnel, and police, including during a recorded interview. By the time of trial, CC had recanted, claiming she consented to the infliction of injuries as part of a consensual BDSM (bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism) relationship with defendant. The trial court instructed on the defense theories of accident and reasonable belief in consent. The jury rejected the defense claims and found defendant guilty.
Defendant and CC started dating in 2008 and shortly thereafter defendant moved in with CC. CC's roommate, who rented the upstairs area of her home to CC, testified she sometimes heard a lot of yelling, screaming, arguing, bumping, pounding, slapping, and things being thrown from CC's portion of the house. She heard defendant and CC arguing more frequentlyin about April 2011, and again in September 2011, and during this period they started "more and more . . . keeping to themselves." In the days before September 13, 2011, she heard defendant say in an irate voice, "'I can't understand why I have to keep telling you this over and over and over.'" CC's parents testified they noticed bruises on CC's face, neck, and arm during this timeframe, and CC variously said they were caused by a fall or because she had "'cheated'" on defendant.
On September 13, 2011, CC's neighbor and the neighbor's son were in their car when CC ran out of her residence and jumped into the back seat. CC was crying, frantic, and repeatedly screaming "'Get me out of here.'" CC told them her boyfriend had been beating her with a flashlight; he had been beating her for hours; and he had threatened her family and friends. CC showed them her arms, which were covered in bruises.
When fleeing her residence, CC did not have her cell phone, purse or keys, and she used her neighbor's cell phone to warn people about defendant's threats. CC left a message telling her roommate not to come home. She told her parents to get out of the house "'right now'"; defendant had her phone and her car; and he was going to kill them and all of her friends. CC's parents called 911 and fled their home.
Meanwhile, the neighbor assisted CC in contacting the police, and CC was transported by ambulance to the hospital. CC told the emergency room personnel her boyfriend had held her against her will for days and beaten her; he beat her with a flashlight, kicked her, and choked her; he hit her "multiple times in the same areas"; she was very afraid of him; and they had consensual sex but she wished "the domestic violence would just end." The emergency room personnel observed extensive bruising throughout her body, including on her face, neck, extremities, torso, abdomen, and pelvic area; a perforated ear drum; two bite marks (on her leg and chest); and a previously stitched lip laceration. The emergency room nurse testified CC's bruising from her shoulders to her elbows was "solid black, which [the nurse had] never seen before"; her arms, hands and jaw were swollen; she had a "hard time moving"; and she complained of pain from "head to toe," including ear pain. The emergency room physician testified CC was "the most severely bruised alive individual" he had seen in his career; her injuries were from "some form of blunt force"; the bruising pattern was "consistent with injury that has occurred over time"; the bruises could have been

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incurred within 48 hours to one or two weeks earlier; and the extent of the bruising required evaluation for internal injuries including blood tests, X-rays, and CT scans.
CC provided details about what occurred during two police interviews, and the second interview was recorded. CC explained defendant was "emotionally unstable" and could "turn[ ] on a dime" if she "answer[ed] something wrong," and defendant's mother claimed he was bipolar. Defendant started hitting her in April 2011, and the assaults continued on and off in May, June, and August 2011. During the arguments he would hit her and then they would talk, he would apologize, and it would be "okay" until they had another fight. In May defendant hit her "really badly." He bit her on her cheeks, slapped her face, and choked her. When CC asked why he was hitting her, he would tell her she was hurting him "'on the inside'"; she was not listening and it was her fault; and he wanted to help her be a better person. When they talked after their fights, they would have consensual sex, and she would ask herself how she could be intimate with someone who was hitting and hurting her, but she always thought defendant loved her and really did want to help her.
The assaults that culminated in CC's escape on Tuesday, September 13 occurred on and off from Saturday to Tuesday. On Saturday defendant hit her with his fist, his shoe and a metal flashlight; kicked her; threw a bottle at her; choked her; hit her in the ears; and punched her in the stomach and vagina. When she told him to stop, he said, "'You're begging me? I begged you to stop hurting me and now you are begging me and you want me to stop?'" She tried to deflect his blows by putting up her hands and covering her chest and abdomen, which would make him angrier and worsen the attack. Defendant told her, "'I'm just gonna kill you. I'm gonna scoop your fucking eyes out of your head so you don't have to see the rest of the world. The rest of the world can just see how fucking ugly you are.'" At one point on Saturday he cut her lip "wide open." When she told defendant she thought she needed stitches, he took her to urgent care, where she told the staff that she had gotten into a fight with her "bipolar cousin."
Defendant became angry again on Sunday, and he kicked and punched her while she was in the shower. On Monday she called her boss and said she would be working from home on Monday and Tuesday. During a fight on Monday that lasted about two hours, defendant pushed, hit, and strangled her.
On Tuesday, when something she said displeased him, defendant put a towel under the door so no one could hear, and he "started really wailing" on her. He "continuously" hit her with his fists, hit her with the metal flashlight, kicked her, threatened to kill her, tried to cut her hand with a knife until she was able to twist her hand away, and held a flame to her hand. He told her, "'It would bring me no greater pleasure than to take everyone away from you [CC]. To take them apart piece by piece in front of you. You watch them suffer and then I'll take you and then I'll kill you.'" He saw how swollen her arms were, and he said, "'I'm gonna hit them. I'm gonna keep on hitting them until they split open. And when they split open [CC], I'm going to keep on hitting you after that. And then I don't know what I'm gonna . . . do. I really wanna kill you and leave you here so that nobody can help you and I'll just take off.'" At this point CC thought, "'Okay, he's really going to kill [me].'" She was finally able to escape when they left the house for an errand and then returned. Upon their return, she "lagged behind" defendant as they approached their residence. When he went inside the house, she slammed the door shut from the outside and ran to the neighbors who were in their car.
The same day that CC fled, defendant was arrested at their residence. The police found him hiding in an attic crawl space. Defendant told the police that he and his girlfriend had been arguing for several days and they got into a physical fight. He said that during the argument, "'I just wanted her to say the relationship was over and she wouldn't do it, so I beat the shit out of her'"; "'I can't believe I did that.'"
A prosecution mental health expert testified about common domestic violence patterns, including the not uncommon occurrence of recantation by the victim.
CC married defendant while he was in jail for the current charges. At trial, she claimed defendant never

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