Henderickson v. Warden Lebanon Corr. Inst., Case No. 2:10-cv-1084

CourtUnited States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
Writing for the CourtTerence P. Kemp
PartiesRonald Henderickson, Petitioner, v. Warden Lebanon Correctional Institution, Respondent.
Docket NumberCase No. 2:10-cv-1084
Decision Date02 November 2011

Ronald Henderickson, Petitioner,
Warden Lebanon Correctional Institution, Respondent.

Case No. 2:10-cv-1084


Dated: November 2, 2011

Magistrate Judge Kemp


Petitioner, a state prisoner, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2254. This matter is before the Court on that petition, respondent's return of writ, and petitioner's reply. For the reasons that follow, the Magistrate Judge RECOMMENDS that petitioner's claims be DISMISSED.


{¶ 7} During the early morning hours Hendrickson fatally stabbed his ex-girlfriend, Jodi Blankenship, in a house they shared with three other Hocking College students. The evidence showed that during their two and a half year relationship, they frequently argued and would often break up. After their final break up in February 2007, Hendrickson was upset and very depressed. Then in March, Blankenship began dating Dale Wible.
{¶ 8} On evening in April, Hendrickson and Blankenship got into an argument over Wible's plans to visit her that weekend. Brian Mannazzi, one of the roommates, testified that Hendrickson went upstairs to Blankenship's room and they began arguing. He testified that at some point after 11:30 p.m., they were still arguing and Blankenship locked herself in a downstairs bathroom, which she commonly did when they were "arguing severely." Mannazzi stated that he saw Hendrickson outside the bathroom as they continued to argue and later heard

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Hendrickson walk outside to the breaker box and cut off the power to some parts of the house. Mannazzi testified that the second time he saw Hendrickson outside the bathroom it "scared" him because Hendrickson was "crouched" in the corner with the lights off. He testified that Hendrickson may have had something in his hands. He stated that he returned to bed and was just falling asleep when he heard the bathroom door open. He testified that he heard Blankenship say "Ron" in a "surprised voice" and then heard her scream for about 30 seconds; he then heard Hendrickson yell "Jodi you stabbed me."
{¶ 9} Corey Suydam, another roommate, testified that he saw Hendrickson sitting in the corner outside the bathroom that night with the lights off, just "staring ahead." Suydam testified that he later awoke to the sound of a woman screaming. When he went to the area outside the bathroom, he saw Blankenship on the ground covered with blood and Hendrickson standing over her. Hendrickson kept saying "she stabbed me, she stabbed me" and showed Suydam where he had been stabbed. Suydam called 911.
{¶ 10} Dale Wible testified that he was on the phone with Blankenship when Hendrickson came to her room that evening and could hear Hendrickson yelling in the background. Hendrickson began ridiculing and making threatening statements to Wible, telling Blankenship that if Wible spent the night that weekend, "bad shit is going to happen." Hendrickson also said that he had "ranger training" and would use it against Wible. Blankenship told Wible that Hendrickson would not leave her room. When asked why he did not call the police, Wible explained that she had begged him not to because during a previous incident, the police were called and made her leave the house for the weekend. He testified that at some point after 11:30 p.m., Blankenship left her room and locked herself in the downstairs bathroom. While she was in the bathroom, they exchanged several text messages between 12:00 a.m. and 12:15 a.m. and then had a 30 minute telephone conversation between 12:15 a.m. and 12:45 a.m. Wible testified that he could hear the door rattling as Hendrickson tried to enter the bathroom. Suydam's 911 call occurred at 12:49 a.m.
{¶ 11} Several responding officers and emergency personnel testified concerning their observations upon arriving at the scene. Officer Shawn Champ with the Nelsonville Police Department, the first responding officer, testified that as he walked up to the house Hendrickson, who was bleeding from his side, approached him and stated, "I stabbed her, I

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stabbed her." Because Hendrickson did not appear to be seriously injured and Officer Keith Tabler had just arrived, Officer Champ went inside the house to check on the other victim. He discovered Blankenship's lifeless body on the floor and found a knife next to her body. Officer Table, also with the Nelsonville Police Department, testified that when he arrived at the scene, he observed Hendrickson holding his side, rocking back and forth, and mumbling. He asked Hendrickson what happened and Hendrickson responded, "I think I killed her." Officer Brian Sass with the Hocking College Police Department testified that Hendrickson also made statements to him at the scene concerning what happened; Hendrickson stated, "She stabbed me and I took the knife and I stabbed her and stabbed her and stabbed her and stabbed her." Timothy Rodehaver, a paramedic with the Southeast Ohio EMS, testified that when he arrived Hendrickson was sitting outside. He testified that while assessing Hendrickson's injuries, Hendrickson told him that "he had been stabbed and in self-defense he had stabbed her." Rodehaver testified that Hendrickson had a small stab wound on his left side and another small wound underneath the stab wound.
{¶ 12} Jonathan Jenkins, a crime scene investigator with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, testified that he "processed" the scene. He described the knife found near Blankenship's body as a pocket knife; a folding blade with a partial serrated blade and smooth blade with a clip on it. He also testified that the locking mechanism on the bathroom door was bent, that there was a crack in the door jam, and that paint chips had fallen off the door frame onto the floor. He recovered several writings from Hendrickson's room, including notes, poems, and Biblical verses Hendrickson had previous given to Blankenship. Finally, he found several knives in the trunk of Hendrickson's car.
{¶ 13} Dr. Manesha Pandey, who performed the autopsy on Blankenship's body, testified that the cause of death was "multiple sharp force trauma." According to her testimony, Blankenship suffered 14 stab wounds, six of which were fatal. Her neck was slashed and her right thyroid artery and right thyroid cartilage were sliced in two. She also suffered from a fractured cervical vertebrae. She also sustained stab wounds to her heart, lungs, abdomen, hips, and shoulder and several "defensive wounds" to her arms and hands.
{¶ 14} The State also presented testimony from friends and family

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members of Blankenship. None of them ever knew Blankenship to carry a knife.
{¶ 15} Then the defense presented its case. Hendrickson, who was a park ranger student, testified that during his relationship with Blankenship, he was "verbally cruel" toward her, but denied ever hitting her. He testified that during the weeks following their final break up, he was "very depressed" and gave Blankenship several writings including poems, notes, and Biblical scriptures expressing his despair. While he testified that he was moving on with his life, he admitted that he was "concerned" about Wible's upcoming visit that weekend. Hendrickson testified that when he arrived home on the evening of April 11th, he discovered some writings that he had previously given to Blankenship under his bedroom door. He tried to call her a couple of times, but she did not answer her cell phone. So, he went upstairs to her room. According to Hendrickson, he attempted to engage in a causal conversation with her, but she was on the phone with Wible. He testified that when she got off the phone, he tried to talk to her about the plans for the weekend. Hendrickson testified that at some point, she began talking to Wible again and stated "he won't" several times; she then grabbed him by the arm and started pulling him off of her bed and said "he won't leave." Hendrickson testified that as he walked toward the door, she held the phone up so that he could hear what they were saying. Hendrickson testified that he became upset and started yelling at them. He testified that Blankenship then took items from her purse, walked downstairs, and locked herself in the bathroom.
{¶ 16} Hendrickson testified that he followed her downstairs, "shook" the door to see if it was locked, and "persisted in yelling." He then went outside and turned off the breaker switches to the lights in an effort to get her to come out of the bathroom. He then sat down on the floor outside the bathroom for a "long time." At some point, when he heard the door to their bathroom open, he stood up and saw Blankenship standing in the bathroom doorway using her cell phone as a light.
{¶ 17} Hendrickson testified that she then said, "I have a knife." According to Hendrickson, he "laughed" and raised his arm to lean against the door jam, partially blocking her exit. He testified that he then felt a sharp pain on his left side and that it "shocked" him. He testified that he then "made contact" with Blankenship and "started pushing away." He testified that he was "very scared" and thought he was going to die, that he was "fearful" for his life, and that he was "just panicking" and "in passion."

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He testified that he twice yelled "what's the knife for" in an effort to get help and started pushing with both hands. He testified that he believed he may have gotten a hold

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