United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. Stivers, Judge United States District Court.
Court considers Magistrate Judge King's Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”) (Findings of Fact,
Conclusions of Law and Recommendation (DN 16) regarding
Petitioner Hosea Chatman's Petition for a Writ of Habeas
Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (DN 1), and
Petitioner's Objection to the Magistrate Judge's
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendation (DN
17). For the following reasons, the Court ADOPTS IN
PART Magistrate Judge King's R&R (DN 16),
OVERRULES Petitioner's Objection (DN
17), and DENIES the Petition for Habeas
Relief (DN 1).
March 5, 2010, a grand jury in McCracken County, Kentucky,
returned a nine-count indictment against Chatman for robbing
a Bluegrass Check Advance in January 2010. (R&R 1, DN
16; Indictment 6-10, DN 11-3). Subsequently, the McCracken
Circuit Court held pretrial hearings pertaining to
Chatman's case, two of which are relevant to
Chatman's habeas proceedings. First, on January 31, 2011,
the court held a suppression hearing to determine the
admissibility of Michelle Edwards'
(“Edwards”)-a victim of Chatman's
crimes-identification of Chatman as the robber. (R&R 1).
According to Chatman, Edwards initially told law enforcement
that she could not see Chatman's nose during the robbery,
but testified at the hearing that his nose was visible.
(R&R 1). Second, the trial court held a hearing to
rule on Chatman's motion for “hybrid
representation” (i.e., representation where a criminal
defendant serves as co-counsel) on May 10, 2011. (R&R 2).
At the hearing, the court warned Chatman of the risks
associated with self-representation. Chatman v.
Commonwealth, No. 2012-CA-001179-MR, 2014 WL 199066, at
*4 (Ky. App. Jan. 17, 2014) (Chatman I). Chatman
explained that he only wanted to file motions, and the court
gave him permission to do so; but the court advised him to
allow co-counsel to review motions he planned to submit.
jury trial began on October 25, 2011. That day, Edwards
testified. According to Chatman, he sought to cross-examine
Edwards regarding her inconsistent statement, but the court
would not allow him to do so. (Pet'r's Second Mot.
Vacate 7, DN 11-5). On the second day of his jury trial,
Chatman unconditionally pled guilty to seven of the nine
counts and entered an Alford plea with respect to
the others. (R&R 2).
Chatman's First Motion for Post-Conviction
pleading guilty, Chatman filed a motion pursuant to Kentucky
Rule of Criminal Procedure (“RCr”) 11.42 and
Kentucky Rule of Civil Procedure (“CR”) 60.02,
seeking post- conviction relief. In his motion, he requested
relief on the grounds that: (1) the trial court allowed him
to self-represent without first conducting a proper hearing
as required by Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806
(1975); (2) his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance
when he: (a) failed to object to the inadequacy of the
Faretta hearing, (b) advised Chatman to plead guilty
to the kidnapping charges without obtaining a ruling on the
question whether the “kidnapping exemption,
” applied, and (c) refused to impeach
Edwards' identification with her inconsistent statement;
and (3) the Commonwealth engaged in prosecutorial misconduct
when it knowingly used false testimony-i.e., Edwards'
testimony that she could see Chatman's nose when he
robbed her-at the suppression hearing. (Resp't's
Resp. Pet. App. 3-17, DN 11-4).
trial court rejected Chatman's motion. (Resp't's
Resp. Pet. App. 18-24, DN 11-4). On appeal, the Kentucky
Court of Appeals held that the trial court conducted a proper
Faretta hearing because it warned Chatman of the
risks associated with self-representation. It also noted
that Chatman may have waived his Faretta hearing
claims when he pled guilty. Chatman I, 2014 WL
199066, at *5. The Court of Appeals then affirmed the trial
court's denial of Chatman's ineffective assistance
claims, reasoning that: (1) counsel did not provide
ineffective assistance when he failed to object during the
Faretta hearing because “a proper
Faretta hearing was held, ” and, therefore,
counsel had no reason to object; and (2) Chatman's
counsel properly advised him of the consequence of entering
an Alford plea with respect to the kidnapping
charges. Chatman I, 2014 WL 199066, at
*5-6. Finally, the Kentucky Court of Appeals dismissed
Chatman's claim that trial counsel provided ineffective
assistance when he refused to impeach Edwards, reasoning that
his post-conviction counsel failed to preserve that
claim. Id. at *7.
Chatman's Second Motion for Post-Conviction
his RCr 11.42 and CR 60.02 motion was pending before the
Kentucky Supreme Court,  Chatman filed a second motion seeking
post-conviction relief pursuant to CR 60.02. In that motion,
Chatman claimed: (1) the Commonwealth violated his plea
agreement when it failed to return his eyeglasses; (2) the
prosecution knowingly used false testimony during the
suppression hearing; (3) the circuit court deprived him of
his right to self-represent when it refused to allow him to
cross-examine Edwards regarding her inconsistent statement;
and (4) ineffective assistance because post-conviction
counsel failed to preserve his claim that trial counsel
provided ineffective assistance when he refused to impeach
Edwards' identification. (Resp't's Resp. Pet.
App. 1-13, DN 11-5).
the Kentucky courts denied relief. (Resp't's Resp.
Pet. App. 14-19, DN 11-5); Chatman v. Commonwealth,
No. 2015-CA-001217-MR, 2016 WL 6134899, at *3 (Ky. App. Oct.
21, 2016) (Chatman II). The Kentucky Court of
Appeals reasoned that Chatman waived his claim that the
Commonwealth materially breached his plea agreement when it
failed to return his eyeglasses, and that, in any event, the
provision regarding his eyeglasses was immaterial and did not
render Chatman's plea involuntary. Chatman II,
2016 WL 6134899, at *2. Next, the Court of Appeals explained
that Chatman waived his prosecutorial misconduct and
self-representation claims when he entered an unconditional
guilty plea. Id. at *3. Finally, it affirmed the
trial court's rejection of Chatman's ineffective
assistance claim, reasoning that criminal defendants have no
right to post-conviction counsel. Id.
Chatman's Petition for Habeas Corpus
November 2, 2016, Chatman filed a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus. In his petition, Chatman raised eight grounds
for relief: (1) the trial court failed to conduct a proper
Faretta hearing prior to permitting him to
self-represent; (2) trial counsel provided ineffective
assistance when he did not object to the allegedly inadequate
Faretta hearing; (3) trial counsel provided
ineffective assistance when he advised Chatman to plead
guilty to his kidnapping charge without obtaining a ruling on
the applicability of the kidnapping exemption; (4) trial
counsel provided ineffective assistance when he failed to
impeach Edwards' identification; (5) the Commonwealth
violated due process when it knowingly used Edwards'
false testimony during the suppression hearing; (6) the
Commonwealth violated due process when it breached the plea
agreement; (7) the trial court deprived Chatman of his right
to self-represent when it declined to permit him to
cross-examine Edwards; and (8) post-conviction counsel
provided ineffective assistance when she failed to preserve
certain issues on appeal. (Pet. 1-20).
April 11, 2017, Magistrate Judge King recommended that
Chatman's Petition be denied and that a Certificate of
Appealability also be denied. (R&R 7). Chatman filed
general objections to Magistrate Judge King's R&R on
April 20, 2017.
Court has jurisdiction to review “an application for a
writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody
pursuant to the judgment of a State court” pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, Pub. L. No.
104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (1996) (“AEDPA”), applies
to all habeas corpus petitions filed after April 24, 1996,
and requires “heightened respect” for legal and
factual determinations made by state courts. See
Herbert v. Billy, 160 F.3d 1131, 1134 (6th Cir.
1998). Section 2254(d), as amended by AEDPA, provides:
An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a
person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court
shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was
adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless
the adjudication of the claim-
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved
an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal
law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States;
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented