Paris v. Rivard

Citation105 F.Supp.3d 701
Decision Date18 March 2015
Docket NumberCase No. 11–15162.
PartiesLamont Daunielle PARIS, Petitioner, v. Steve RIVARD, Respondent.
CourtUnited States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)

105 F.Supp.3d 701

Lamont Daunielle PARIS, Petitioner,

Steve RIVARD, Respondent.

Case No. 11–15162.

United States District Court,E.D. Michigan, Southern Division.

Signed March 18, 2015.

105 F.Supp.3d 709

Lamont Paris, Freeland, MI, pro se.

Bruce H. Edwards, Michigan Attorney General's Office, Lansing, MI, for Respondent.


DAVID M. LAWSON, District Judge.

The petitioner, Lamont Daunielle Paris, has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The petitioner was convicted in the Wayne County, Michigan circuit court of three counts of assault with intent to commit murder and various firearms charges, and was sentenced to substantial prison terms for these crimes. The habeas petition raises nineteen claims challenging the charges against the petitioner, the pretrial

105 F.Supp.3d 710

identification procedures, the trial judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney, the evidence at trial, and the sentence. The respondent's answer asserts that the petitioner did not preserve several of his claims properly and that all of his claims lack merit. The Court has determined from a review of the pleadings and record that the petitioner's claims lack merit and that the state courts' adjudications of the claims were objectively reasonable. The petition, therefore, will be denied.


The Michigan Court of Appeals accurately summarized the evidence adduced at trial as follows:

This case arises from a shooting outside a Detroit nightclub on April 12, 2003. That evening, while working as parking lot attendants at the nightclub, Muhammad Shahid and Rana Kahn heard at least 10 to 15 shots fired in the parking lot of the nightclub. Shahid believed that defendant was one of the shooters because as he was patroling the parking lot he observed defendant and Rhashi Harris by a blue van carrying rifles and one man said to him “Stay away, stay away.” Both Shahid and Kahn had their backs turned to the shooters during the time in which the shots were fired.

Bullets struck a Mercedes Benz which was occupied by Tommie Hodges and a female passenger later identified as Meleta Miller. Observers witnessed the Mercedes speed away with bullets being fired in its general direction. Once the car was forced to stop at a traffic signal, Miller exited the vehicle and ran away. Hodges exited the vehicle and fired several shots toward the nightclub.

Police arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting and began to track the suspects. After an officer attempted to make contact with the suspects, they fled through surrounding neighborhoods. Police observed the suspects drop several items as they attempted to elude the officers. After defendant and Harris were arrested, the police went back and searched the area where the suspects threw objects during the chase. The officers recovered two handguns, a bulletproof vest and two semiautomatic rifles. Additionally, officers recovered magazines with live rounds and ten spent shell casings near the blue van where Shahid had seen defendant and Harris with rifles.

People v. Paris, No. 278571, 2008 WL 4276923, at *1 (Mich.Ct.App. Sept. 18, 2008).

The prosecutor's theory was that the shooting was an attempt to assassinate Tommie Hodges, and that under the doctrine of transferred intent, the petitioner was also guilty of assault with intent to murder Meleta Miller and Darryl White, a night club employee who was injured during the shooting. The petitioner did not testify or present any witnesses. His attorney maintained that Tommie Hodges was a known drug dealer who traveled with armed gang members. The defense theory was that there was a lack of evidence linking the petitioner to the crimes and that the prosecution did not prove the elements of the crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.

Although the trial court instructed the jury on the lesser offense of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, the jury found the petitioner guilty as charged of three counts of assault with intent to commit murder, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.83, one count of felon in possession of a firearm, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.224f, one count of discharge of a weapon at a building, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.234b, and one count of felony firearm, second offense, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.227b. The trial court sentenced the

105 F.Supp.3d 711

petitioner as a habitual offender, Mich. Comp. Laws § 769.10, to concurrent prison terms of 50 to 70 years for each of the assault convictions, three to seven years for the felon-in-possession conviction, two to six years for the discharge-of-a-weapon conviction, and a consecutive term of five years for the felony-firearm conviction.

The petitioner raised his first eight habeas claims on direct appeal. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed his convictions and sentences in an unpublished, per curiam opinion. People v. Paris, No. 278571, 2008 WL 4276923 (Mich.Ct.App. Sept. 18, 2008). The Court of Appeals ruled that

(1) there was sufficient evidence for a jury to infer beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant committed the charged offenses, (2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it authorized limited reimbursement to defendant for an expert witness, (3) the trial court did not err when it denied defendant's motion to suppress the bulletproof vest, (4) the trial court did not demonstrate bias at defendant's trial, (5) the prosecutor's direct examination of Sergeant Babcock was not improper, (6) defendant was not denied the effective assistance of counsel, ... (7) the trial court's departure from the sentencing guidelines was not an abuse of discretion, [and (8) ] no actual errors cumulatively affected his right to a fair trial.

Id., 2008 WL 4276923, at *10. The Michigan Supreme Court denied the petitioner's application for leave to appeal on March 23, 2009, because it was not persuaded to review the issues. People v. Paris, 483 Mich. 914, 762 N.W.2d 498 (2009) (table).

On November 2, 2009, the petitioner filed a motion for relief from judgment in which he raised his remaining habeas claims. The trial court denied his motion for a variety of reasons, including the failure to establish “actual prejudice from the alleged irregularities that support the claim for relief.” Mich. Ct. R. 6.508(D)(3)(b). The petitioner appealed the trial court's decision, but the Michigan Court of Appeals denied his application for failure to establish entitlement to relief under Michigan Court Rule 6.508(D), People v. Paris, No. 296541 (Mich.Ct.App. Oct. 11, 2010), and the Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal for the same reason on June 28, 2011, People v. Paris, 489 Mich. 971, 798 N.W.2d 774 (2011) (table).

On November 22, 2011, the petitioner filed his habeas corpus petition, which sets forth the following grounds for relief:

I. The prosecution failed to produce legally sufficient evidence to identify appellant as the perpetrator or prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

II. The trial court denied appellant due process and violated his rights to confrontation and to present a defense by refusing to appoint [a] firearms expert witness to rebut the expert testimony on gunshot residue testing introduced by the prosecution.

III. The trial court reversibly erred in [denying] the defense motion to suppress evidence of a bulletproof vest found on the street, as the prosecution could not lay a sufficient [foundation] to prove that the item had any connection to the charged offense.

IV. The trial judge's order that defense counsel apologize to the jury for causing a delay in the proceedings by attending to other pending cases during a recess was an abuse of discretion and served to prejudice the jury.

105 F.Supp.3d 712

V. The prosecutor violated appellant's right to remain silent and denied him a fair trial by admitting evidence of appellant's exercise of his right to remain silent.

VI. Appellant was denied the effective assistance of counsel by counsel's failure to object to the inadmissible and highly inflammatory evidence that appellant was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

VII. Appellant is entitled to resentencing because the sentence imposed is a departure unsupported by substantial and compelling evidence.

VIII. The cumulative effect of the errors in this case deprived appellant of his federal and state due process rights.

IX. Whether constitutional error occurred against the 14th Amendment, in conjunction with a 4th Amendment violation[,] when the Wayne County Police Department and the prosecutor's office, [by their] arbitrary actions, unequivocally [revealed that] an abuse of process was used, by instituting an illegal process for prosecution, used in [an] improper and unauthorized manner, that caused defendant Paris to suffer damages as a result of abuse.

X. Whether constitutional error occurred against the 4th and 14th Amendment [s]...

To continue reading

Request your trial
15 cases
  • Johnson v. Brown
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Michigan
    • February 6, 2023
    ... ... sentencing guidelines, is not a cognizable claim for federal ... habeas review because it is based solely on state law ... Paris v. Rivard , 105 F.Supp.3d 701, 724 (E.D. Mich ... 2015) (citing McPhail v. Renico , 412 F.Supp.2d 647, ... 656 (E.D. Mich. 2006)) ... ...
  • David v. Romanowski
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Michigan
    • March 18, 2016
    ...punishment'" under the Eighth Amendment. United States v. Organek, 65 F.3d 60, 62 (6th Cir. 1995); see also Paris v. Rivard, 105 F. Supp. 3d 701, 724 (E.D. Mich. 2015), appeal dismissed (Sept. 8, 2015). The Court therefore concludes that Petitioner's minimum sentence of twenty-five years is......
  • Stephens v. Howard
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Michigan
    • January 12, 2022
    ... ... for federal habeas review because it is based solely on state ... law. Paris v. Rivard , 105 F.Supp.3d 701, 724 (E.D ... Mich. 2015) (citing McPhail v. Renico , 412 F.Supp.2d ... 647, 656 (E.D. Mich. 2006)) ... ...
  • United States v. Waller
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Texas
    • May 14, 2015
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT