Sampson v. Stephens

Decision Date25 March 2015
Docket NumberCIVIL ACTION NO. H-13-3381
PartiesCHARLES EARL SAMPSON, (TDCJ-CID #644861) Petitioner, v. WILLIAM STEPHENS, Respondent.
CourtU.S. District Court — Southern District of Texas

CHARLES EARL SAMPSON, (TDCJ-CID #644861) Petitioner,
v.
WILLIAM STEPHENS, Respondent.

CIVIL ACTION NO. H-13-3381

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS HOUSTON DIVISION

March 25, 2015


MEMORANDUM AND OPINION

Petitioner, Charles Earl Sampson, seeks habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging a conviction in the 221st Judicial District Court of Montgomery County, Texas. Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment, (Docket Entry No. 17), and copies of the state court record. Sampson has filed his response. (Docket Entry No. 25). After consideration of the motion and response, the record, and applicable authorities, the court grants respondent's motion. The reasons for this ruling are stated below.

I. Background

A jury found Sampson guilty of the felony offense of burglary of a habitation. (Cause Number 11-03-03464-CR). Finding five enhancement paragraphs to be true, the jury sentenced Sampson to life imprisonment on April 19, 2011. The Ninth Court of Appeals of Texas affirmed Sampson's conviction on January 4, 2012. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused Sampson's petition for discretionary review on May 13, 2012. Sampson filed an application for state habeas

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corpus relief on March 26, 2013, which the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied without written order on August 28, 2013. Ex parte Sampson, Application No. 62,670-02 at cover.

On November 14, 2013, this court received Sampson's federal petition. Sampson contends that his conviction is void for the following reasons:

(1) Appellate counsel, Adrienne Frazior, rendered ineffective assistance by failing to raise the issue of ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failing to challenge the enhancements. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 6); (Docket Entry No. 9, Memorandum, pp. 1-44).

(2) The appellate court abused its discretion in ruling that the State had proven the Texas Penal Code Section 12.42(d) requirement. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 6); (Docket Entry No. 9-1, Memorandum, pp. 1-4).

(3) Trial counsel, Michael McDougal, rendered ineffective assistance by failing to object and preserve the error of inconsistent testimony. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 7); (Docket Entry No. 9-2, Memorandum, pp. 1-9).

(4) Appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to raise the issue of ineffective assistance of trial counsel for eliciting harmful testimony that Sampson was on parole and had been to prison, and ineffective assistance of trial counsel for eliciting the harmful testimony. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 7); (Docket Entry No. 9-3, Memorandum, pp. 1-4).

(5) Trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to object and preserve the error of prosecutorial misconduct for withholding the testimony of Officers Dodgen and Ott. (Docket

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Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 8); (Docket Entry No. 9-4, Memorandum, pp. 1-5).

(6) Appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance by improperly arguing an illegally admitted unadjudicated extraneous offense. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 8); (Docket Entry No. 9-4, Memorandum, pp. 6-18).

(7) The trial court abused its discretion by admitting an illegal unadjudicated extraneous offense. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 8).

(8) The prosecutor engaged in misconduct by suppressing evidence by denying Sampson a witness's identity and the ability to subpoena witnesses. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 8).

(9) The trial court abused its discretion by illegally stacking his sentence without notice. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 8).

(10) The trial court abused its discretion by allowing ambiguous double standard verdicts. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 8).

(11) The trial court abused its discretion by allowing three different extraneous offenses in one single episode whereas Sampson did not testify at punishment. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, pp. 8-9).

(12) Trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to object to the prosecutor making the jury promise to listen to both phases of trial before entering punishment. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 9); (Docket Entry No. 9-5, Memorandum, pp. 1-7).

(13) The prosecutor engaged in miscondcuct by making the jury promise to convict. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 9).

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(14) Appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to argue the preserved error concerning State's Exhibit 40. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 9).

(15) Trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to challenge the array of the jury. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 9); (Docket Entry No. 9-5, Memorandum, pp. 8-10).

(16) The trial court abused its discretion by allowing inconsistent material witness statements versus trial testimony. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 9).

(17) "Same as Ground 10." (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 9).

(18) Trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to object to an "impartial" jury. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 9).

(19) Appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to argue the Texas Penal Code Section 12.42(d) issue that the jury had to find two of the previous paragraphs true. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 9).

(20) "Same as Ground 17." (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 9).

(21) "Same as Ground 12." (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 9).

(22) The trial court abused its discretion by denying the defense motion for an instructed verdict on the basis that the State failed to prove intent to commit theft. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 10).

(23) The trial court abused its discretion by allowing the law of parole to be discussed during guilt/innocence and ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failing to object. (Docket Entry

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No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 10); (Docket Entry No. 9-5, Memorandum, pp. 11-15).

(24) The prosecutor engaged in misconduct by asking the jury to put themselves in the place of the victim and ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failing to object. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 10); (Docket Entry No. 9-5, Memorandum, pp. 16-18).

(25) Trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to file a motion to suppress the illegal arrest. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 10); (Docket Entry No. 9-5, Memorandum, pp. 11-15).

(26) Trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by tarnishing his credibility by advising him to plead not true to the enhancements he had just elicited testimony about. (Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, p. 10).

(Docket Entry No. 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, pp. 6-10).

II. The Statement of Facts

The Ninth Court of Appeals summarized the factual background as follows:

John Heimann, a Houston police officer and the son of Socorro Hermes, noticed a green truck in Socorro's driveway. He knew the truck did not belong to his mother, and he telephoned her. She was shopping, and indicated there was no one at her house. Heimann noticed the house had been broken into. When he went in, he saw Sampson walk out of the bedroom. Sampson was holding a pillowcase with "stuff in it. Heimann told Sampson to get down on the ground. Sampson said he entered the house because he saw someone breaking in. While Heimann was calling for backup, Sampson fled. Heimann found him in the woods nearby. Deputy Suarez, who was called to the scene, testified the door of the residence was forced open. Suarez found a pillowcase containing jewelry and other items in the house. He found a flathead screwdriver

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in Sampson's pockets. Suarez explained that this type screwdriver is used for prying open objects like a sliding glass door mechanism. Sampson testified that after he was paroled from prison, he lived with Jess Babbitt and his wife in the same neighborhood where Ms. Hermes lived. Sampson explained he had solicited work at Ms. Hermes's home on three prior occasions. He went there that day to ask about the possibility of working for her. He testified he entered her house because he saw a burglary in progress, and he wanted to check on Ms. Hermes. He testified he had no intent to commit theft and did not steal anything.
The prosecutor, like defense counsel, asked where Sampson went after he was released on parole from prison. Sampson explained that he lived with the Babbitts. The State then asked Sampson if the Babbitts had asked him to leave their home. Sampson stated he had not been asked to leave, but was told he should try to find his own place to live. He testified he moved to Waller.
Jess Babbitt testified he met Sampson through a prison ministry. Like Sampson, Babbitt explained that upon Sampson's release from prison, Sampson lived with the Babbitts. Sampson did odd jobs around the neighborhood and worked for an auto parts store. Defense counsel asked if Babbitt "kicked" Sampson out of the house. Babbitt responded, "No." The State then questioned Babbitt further and, over defendant's objection, obtained the trial court's permission to ask Babbitt about a purported theft at his home.

Sampson v. State, No. 09-11-00247-CR, 2012 WL 34457, at *1 (Tex. App. -- Houston [9th Dist.] 2012, pet. ref'd)(not designated for publication).

III. The Applicable Legal Standards

This court reviews Sampson's petition for writ of habeas corpus under the federal habeas statutes, as amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA). 28...

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