Jurado v. Davis

Decision Date17 September 2018
Docket NumberCase No.: 08cv1400 JLS (JMA)
PartiesROBERT JURADO, Petitioner, v. RON DAVIS, Warden of San Quentin State Prison, Respondent.
CourtU.S. District Court — Southern District of California





Presently before the Court are the remaining claims in the Second Amended Petition ["SAP"], namely Claims 2-4, 7-13, 15-32, 35-42, 44, and 46-48; Claims 1, 5-6, 14, 33-34, 43 and 45 were previously adjudicated in the Group One Order. (See ECF No. 171.) Petitioner has filed a Group Two Merits Brief ["Pet. Br."], providing additional briefing on Claims 2-4, 7-8, 10-12, 19, 29-30, 38 and 47-48 in the SAP and requesting evidentiary development and/or an evidentiary hearing. (ECF No. 182.) Respondent filed a Response ["Resp."] to Petitioner's Group Two Merits Brief, and Petitioner has filed a Reply ["Reply"]. (ECF Nos. 187, 194.) The Court held oral arguments on May 22, 2018. Subsequent to oral arguments and pursuant to the Court's request, Petitioner filed a Supplemental Brief on June 5, 2018, outlining the claims on which Petitioner requests a COA. (ECF No. 205.) On June 19, 2018, Respondent filed a Response to Petitioner's Supplemental Brief. (ECF No. 206.)

For the following reasons, based on the arguments presented in the pleadings, including relevant portions of the SAP, Answer ["Ans."], and Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of the Answer ["Ans. Mem."], as well as at oral argument and in the supplemental briefs, the Court DENIES Petitioner's request for evidentiary development, discovery, and/or an evidentiary hearing on Claims 2-4, 7-8, 10-12, 19, 29-30, 38, and 47-48 and DENIES habeas relief on Claims 2-4, 7-13, 15-32, 35-42, 44, and 46-48 in the SAP.


By an Amended Information filed on October 11, 1991, Petitioner Robert Jurado and co-defendants Denise Shigemura and Anna Humiston were charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Teresa Holloway. (CT 49-51.) Petitioner was tried separately from his co-defendants.

Petitioner was convicted on May 23, 1994, of one count of first-degree murder pursuant to California Penal Code § 187 and one count of conspiracy to commit murder pursuant to California Penal Code §§ 182 and 187. (CT 1656-58.) The jury found that Petitioner used a deadly and dangerous weapon to commit the murder. (CT 1658.) The jury also found true the special circumstance allegation that the murder was committed while lying in wait under California Penal Code § 190.2(a)(15). (CT 1659.) On June 14, 1994, the jury returned a sentence of death. (CT 1676.) On October 7, 1994, the trial court denied Petitioner's motions for a new trial, to set aside the special circumstance finding, and for modification of the verdicts, and sentenced him to death. (CT 1682-83.)

On automatic appeal (hereinafter "direct appeal") of this conviction and judgment to the California Supreme Court, Petitioner filed an opening brief on July 9, 2003, raising twenty-six (26) claims for relief. (Lodgment No. 72.) Petitioner also filed a reply brief on February 15, 2005. (Lodgment No. 74.) The California Supreme Court affirmed Petitioner's conviction and sentence in a decision issued on April 6, 2006. People v. Jurado, 38 Cal. 4th 72 (2006). On October 10, 2006, the Supreme Court of the United States denied his petition for a writ of certiorari. Jurado v. California, 549 U.S. 956 (2006). On August 11, 2005, while his direct appeal was pending, Petitioner filed a habeas petition with the California Supreme Court, raising thirty-two (32) claims for relief. (Lodgment No. 76.) Petitioner also filed a reply brief on July 9, 2007. (Lodgment No. 78.) The petition was denied on July 23, 2008, without an evidentiary hearing. (Lodgment No. 79.)

On July 31, 2008, Petitioner filed motions for the appointment of counsel and for a stay of execution with this Court. (ECF No. 1.) On August 6, 2008, the Court granted Petitioner's motions and referred the matter to the Selection Board for the suggestion of one or more attorneys to represent Petitioner on federal habeas review, and appointed counsel on June 23, 2009. (ECF Nos. 2, 23.) On July 18, 2009, Petitioner filed a Protective Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. (ECF No. 42.) After hearing and adjudicating Petitioner's request for equitable tolling, Petitioner filed an Amended Petition and accompanying exhibits on February 22, 2010. (ECF Nos. 73, 74.) On March 9, 2010, the parties submitted a joint statement regarding exhausted claims and a joint stipulation to stay the federal proceedings and hold the case in abeyance pending the exhaustion of those claims. (ECF No. 78.) On March 10, 2010, the Court granted a stay of the federal proceedings. (ECF No. 79.)

On January 16, 2013, the California Supreme Court denied Petitioner's state exhaustion petition. (Lodgment No. 91.) On February 14, 2013, Petitioner filed the Second Amended Petition, the operative pleading in this action, and accompanying exhibits. (ECF Nos. 94-95.) On August 14, 2013, Respondent filed an Answer and accompanying Memorandum of Points and Authorities. (ECF Nos. 104, 104-1.)

On November 19, 2015, after briefing and oral argument, the Court issued an Order denying Respondent's request to dismiss Claims 1.J, 1.K, 1.T through 1.AA, 5-6, 14, 33-34, 43 and 45 on the basis of state procedural bars, denying Petitioner's motion for investigation, discovery and an evidentiary hearing on procedural default, denying Petitioner's motion for evidentiary development and/or an evidentiary hearing on Claims 1.A through 1.K, 1.M through 1.W, 1.Y through 1.AA, 5 and 6, denying Petitioner's request for stay and abeyance, and denying habeas relief on the Group One Claims, Claims 1, 5-6, 14, 33-34, 43 and 45. (ECF No. 171.)

Pursuant to the Court's request, the parties submitted a joint statement with respect to setting a briefing schedule for the claims remaining in the SAP. (ECF No. 172.) Based on the parties' respective proposals and the claims remaining in the SAP, the Court ordered one additional round of briefing, limited to Claims 2-4, 7-8, 10-12, 19, 29-32, 38 and 47-48. (ECF No. 173.) As noted above, on June 12, 2016, Petitioner filed the Group Two Merits Brief, addressing Claims 2-4, 7-8, 10-12, 19, 29-30 and 47-48,1 along with an attached exhibit. (ECF Nos. 182, 182-1.) On December 1, 2016, Respondent filed a response, and on March 9, 2017, Petitioner filed a Reply with attached exhibits. (ECF Nos. 187, 194.) On June 5, 2018, Petitioner filed a Supplemental Brief, and on June 19, 2018, Respondent filed a Response to Petitioner's Supplemental Brief. (ECF Nos. 205, 206.)


The Court refers the parties to the statement of evidence issued by the California Supreme Court in Jurado, 38 Cal. 4th at 82-93. The California Supreme Court's factual findings are presumptively reasonable and entitled to deference in these proceedings. See Sumner v. Mata, 449 U.S. 539, 545-47 (1981).

/// In order to provide a context for the Court's discussion of the claims addressed in the instant order, restated below is the California Supreme Court's summary of evidence presented during the guilt and penalty phases.

On May 17, 1991, a stranded motorist saw the body of Teresa (Terry) Holloway in a culvert beneath Highway 163 in San Diego County. She had been strangled and beaten to death two days earlier. As the prosecution's evidence at trial established, defendant killed Holloway, with the help of Denise Shigemura and Anna Humiston, to prevent her from disclosing their plan to kill a drug dealer named Doug Mynatt.FN2
FN2. Shigemura pled guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison. Humiston, who was 17 years old at the time of the killing, was tried as an adult, convicted of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison. (See People v. Humiston (1993) 20 Cal.App.4th 460, 465, 24 Cal.Rptr.2d 515.)
A. Prosecution's Guilt Phase Case-in-Chief
In October 1989, Brian Johnsen met Teresa Holloway; a month later, they began living together and continued living together until late April 1991. Throughout this time, Holloway was using methamphetamine on a regular basis. In December 1989, Holloway met Doug Mynatt at a bar and introduced him to Johnsen.
In July or August of 1990, Brian Johnsen met defendant and bought crystal methamphetamine from him at Mark Schmidt's house. Defendant was sharing an apartment with Denise Shigemura, but his girlfriend was Anna Humiston, a high school student who lived with her parents. Johnsen and Teresa Holloway socialized and shared drugs with defendant, Shigemura, and Humiston. Johnsen later introduced defendant to Mynatt.
In October 1990, Denise Shigemura was arrested and remained in federal custody until April 1991, when she was released to a halfway house. During her time in custody, Shigemura exchanged letters and telephone calls with Teresa Holloway. When Shigemura obtained overnight passes from the halfway house, she stayed at the house where Teresa Holloway lived with Brian Johnsen.


In February 1991, Teresa Holloway argued with defendant, and their relationship became strained. Holloway's relationships with Anna Humiston also became strained, and on one occasion they had a quarrel that almost turned violent. Around the same time, Doug Mynatt moved on a temporary basis into the house that Brian Johnsen and Holloway shared. Johnsen had been buying methamphetamine from Mynatt.
In late March 1991, defendant gave Doug Mynatt a .38-caliber handgun in exchange for drugs. When Mynatt learned that defendant had stolen the gun, he insisted that defendant take it back and instead pay money for the drugs. A few weeks later, Mynatt and Johnsen took

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