Moreland v. Bradshaw

Decision Date10 April 2009
Docket NumberNo. 3:05-cv-334.,3:05-cv-334.
Citation635 F.Supp.2d 680
PartiesSamuel MORELAND, Petitioner, v. Margaret BRADSHAW, Warden, Respondent.
CourtU.S. District Court — Southern District of Ohio

Nicholas George Gounaris, Richard Steven Skelton, Skelton McQuiston Gounaris & Henry, Dayton, OH, for Petitioner.

Charles L. Wille, Thomas E. Madden, Office of the Ohio Attorney General, Criminal Justice Section, Capital Crimes Unit, Columbus, OH, for Respondent.


THOMAS M. ROSE, District Judge.

This is a habeas action brought by Petitioner Samuel Moreland ("Moreland") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Therein, Moreland seeks relief from both his conviction for aggravated murder with death specifications and his resulting death sentence.

On October 23, 2008, Magistrate Judge Merz issued a Report and Recommendations (doc. # 104) recommending that Moreland's Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus be denied and dismissed with prejudice. Moreland objected (doc. # 110) and the Warden responded to Moreland's Objections (doc. # 111).

On February 17, 2009, Magistrate Judge Merz issued a Supplemental Report and Recommendations again recommending that Moreland's Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus be denied and dismissed with prejudice. Moreland again objected. (Doc. 114.) The time has run and the Warden has not responded to Moreland's Objections to the Supplemental Report and Recommendations. Thus, this matter is before the Court on Moreland's Objections to the Report and Recommendations an on his Objections to the Supplemental Report and Recommendations.

As required by 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 72(b), the District Judge has made a de novo review of the record in this case. Upon said review, the Court finds that Moreland's Objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendations and his Objections to the Magistrate Judge's Supplemental Report and Recommendations are not well-taken, and they are hereby OVERRULED. The Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendations and Supplemental Report and Recommendations are ADOPTED in their entirety.

Moreland's Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus is dismissed with prejudice. The captioned cause is hereby ordered terminated upon the docket records of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, at Dayton.


MICHAEL R. MERZ, United States Chief Magistrate Judge.

This is a habeas corpus action brought by Petitioner Samuel Moreland pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 and seeking relief from both his conviction for aggravated murder with death specifications and his resulting death sentence.

Mr. Moreland is represented in this proceeding by counsel appointed pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 848(q) who did not represent him in any direct appeal proceedings.

Statement of Facts

The Supreme Court of Ohio described the facts and circumstances leading to Mr. Moreland's indictment, trial, convictions, and adjudged sentence of death as follows:

On November 1, 1985, Tia Talbott resided at 35 S. Ardmore, Dayton, Ohio, with her five children: Dayron Talbott, age eleven, Daytrin Talbott, age seven, Datwan Talbott, age six, Daniel Talbott, age four, and Glenna Talbott, age three. Also residing at 35 S. Ardmore at this time were Tia Talbott's mother, Glenna Green, Glenna Green's boyfriend, Samuel Moreland, appellant, and Thurston Jones, Tia Talbott's boyfriend. Additionally, on November 1, 1985, Tia Talbott's sister, Lana Green and Lana's three children, Violana Green, Gregory Green and Tia Green, were spending the night at Tia Talbott's residence.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. on the evening of November 1, 1985, Tia Talbott, Thurston Jones and Gregory Green left the residence at 35 S. Ardmore to go to the grocery store. When Tia Talbott departed from the house, appellant was in Glenna Green's bedroom. At about the time of, or shortly after, Tia Talbott's departure, Glenna Green and appellant had an argument concerning appellant's need for some money to purchase beer or wine. Glenna Green refused to give appellant any money.

Appellant left Glenna Green's bedroom and went to his own room in the house. Appellant then returned to Green's bedroom where the argument continued until appellant again departed from Green's bedroom and absented himself for one-half hour. When appellant returned, the argument continued. Again, appellant left the bedroom and was gone for approximately ten minutes. Upon his final return, appellant was armed with a rifle. Without any exchange of words, appellant pointed the gun at Glenna Green and shot her. Appellant then shot Dayron Talbott's hand which was positioned in front of Dayron's face. Appellant then shot Dayron in the face, began laughing, and hit Dayron in the face with the end of the rifle.

Upon returning home from the grocery store, Thurston Jones and Tia Talbott discovered the bodies of Lana Green, Violana Green, Glenna Green, Datwan Talbott and Daytrin Talbott. Glenna Green died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head, as did Lana and Violana Green. Daytrin and Datwan Talbott each died as a result of multiple severe blunt force trauma to the head. Also discovered in the home was Tia Green, who had been injured as a result of a gunshot wound to the face; Glenna Talbott, who suffered numerous abrasions and contusions to her face and upper torso; and Dayron Talbott, who suffered an injury wound to his face and hand and significant number of fractures to his skull.

In the early morning of November 2, 1985, a man was seen and was heard shouting that he had killed his family. Later that morning, this man was seen with Samuel Thomas. The unidentified individual was wearing a black jacket. Thomas and appellant were together following the murders. After purchasing some alcohol, Thomas and appellant went back to Thomas' house. Subsequently, a car passed Thomas' home and appellant said, "I bet it was a cruiser pass." Thomas looked out of the window and saw a police cruiser passing by.

Appellant also commented that he had shot a gun and the bullet hole went in small and came out big. Thomas did not know to what appellant was referring. Later, Thomas drove appellant home to the residence at 35 S. Ardmore and appellant was arrested. Appellant was wearing blue jeans and a black jacket. While appellant was being read his Miranda rights, he told the arresting officer that the officer was "too late." Appellant was uncooperative when the police attempted to swab his hands in order to perform an atomic absorption test used to detect the presence or absence of gunshot residue. Appellant stated during this time, "I have Fifth Amendment rights." "In fact, the Constitution is written for guys like me." "You don't have any evidence against me, and I'll be damned if I'll help you." When the test was finally being conducted, appellant stated "[t]his isn't going to do any good anyway. I've been firing three to four hundred rounds at a range in Vandalia." Appellant was then asked if he signed in and out at the range. At this point, appellant changed his story and stated he had been firing the shots along a river bank.

A blood-alcohol test was performed on appellant. The test results showed .225 grams per 220 liters of breath alcohol. Further, appellant had been seen by Bruce Shackleford at approximately 11:00 p.m. on November 1, 1985. Shackleford testified that appellant did not appear to be drunk nor did appellant have difficulty walking or talking. Also, Richard Cunningham saw appellant on November 1, 1985, and at that time appellant did not seem to have difficulty walking.

The police subsequently recovered a .22 caliber rifle. Bullets found in some of the victims' bodies were .22 caliber. Fired and misfired casings found at the murder scene were also .22 caliber. Imprints from the butt of the rifle matched indentations on Datwan Talbott's forehead. The rifle, found by the police, was test-fired and the test bullets were compared to the bullets found in the victims' bodies. The test bullets and the bullets retrieved from the victims' bodies had the same characteristics. The test cartridges matched the fired and misfired cartridge casings found at the murder scene. With the exception of one unfired cartridge casing, all the cartridge casings found at the murder scene had been fired or misfired from a gun which was of the same make as that recovered by the police. Dayron testified that after he was shot and beaten by appellant, Dayron saw appellant with "* * * this long little thing that * * * [appellant] was putting through the barrel of the gun. And then * * * [appellant] pulled it out and took some kind of rag and wiped it off." The rifle recovered by police as a "magazine tube" positioned below the barrel of the gun. A rod used to compress the cartridge casings, and which causes the cartridges to feed into the chamber of the rifle, moves in and out of the magazine tube.

State v. Moreland, 50 Ohio St.3d 58, 58-60, 552 N.E.2d 894 (1990).

State Court Proceedings

On November 8, 1985, the Montgomery County Grand Jury indicted Mr. Moreland on the following seventeen counts: ten counts of aggravated murder (firearm specifications three counts: aggravated circumstance specification on each count); one count aggravated robbery (firearm specification) and six counts of attempt to commit aggravated murder ...

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