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Roy v. Metzger

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 6, 2019

RASHID ROY, Petitioner,
v.
DANA METZGER, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.[1]

          Rashid Petitioner. Pro se Petitioner.

          Andrew J. Vella, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for respondents.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION [2]

          NOREIKA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (“Petition”) filed by Petitioner Rashid Roy (“Petitioner”). (D.I. 2, 8). The State filed an Answer in opposition. (D.I. 12). For the reasons discussed, the Court will deny the Petition.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The facts leading to Petitioner's arrest and conviction are set forth below, as summarized by the Delaware Supreme Court in Petitioner's direct appeal:

On February 17, 2010, at about 5:00 a.m., Alvin Pauls (“Pauls”) was getting dressed inside his apartment at the Compton Apartments complex when he heard a scream. Approximately ten minutes later, Pauls left his apartment and went onto Seventh Street in Wilmington.
Pauls heard a male voice call out to him, “who are you?” from across the street. As Pauls turned to the direction of the sound, he saw a man standing over a second person who was lying in the street. Pauls went to his automobile and called 911. Pauls told the 911 operator that he believed he heard a woman screaming and had seen a man standing over a body in the street.
At 5:17 a.m., a dispatch went out directing City of Wilmington police officers to respond to an assault in progress at the intersection of Seventh and Walnut Streets. Wilmington Police Lieutenant Matthew Kurten (“Lt. Kurten”), in full uniform but driving a discreetly marked Ford Crown Victoria, was the first officer to reach the scene. Lt. Kurten saw only one person on the darkened street- a male later identified to be [Petitioner]-wearing a camouflage coat and walking on the sidewalk near St. Michael's Day Care. At approximately 5:19 a.m., Lt. Kurten radioed the police dispatch center about [Petitioner] and pulled his car up next to him. [Petitioner] abruptly put his hand up against his face, obscuring the officer's view, and began walking in the opposite direction.
As Lt. Kurten began to back his car up to follow [Petitioner], he saw two fully-marked patrol cars pull onto the block from the direction where [Petitioner] was walking. The first of those marked vehicles was driven by Officer Patrick Bartolo (“Officer Bartolo”). Officer Bartolo, who had heard Lt. Kurten's earlier radio transmission, exited his car, walked toward [Petitioner], and asked [Petitioner] to approach his cruiser. When [Petitioner] hesitated, Officer Bartolo placed his hand on [Petitioner] and guided him toward the police car.
As Officer Bartolo and [Petitioner] were approaching the police vehicle, Wilmington Police Officers Timothy O'Connor and Jamaine Crawford arrived and placed [Petitioner] in handcuffs. Officer Crawford asked [Petitioner] if he had any weapons in his possession. [Petitioner] responded that he had a knife. Officer O'Connor then took a hat from [Petitioner]'s hand and discovered a knife inside the hat. After Officer O'Connor removed his hands from [Petitioner's] clothing, he noticed that they were slippery.
When Officer O'Connor shined a flashlight on his own hands, he noticed that his hands were covered in blood. The light revealed that [Petitioner's] hands were also bloody. At the same time this was happening, another officer radioed that she had found an unconscious black male-the victim, Davelle Neal. [Petitioner] was then placed in Officer Bartolo's patrol car and transported to the police station.
In later statements made to the police, [Petitioner] maintained that he and Neal had been robbed by unknown individuals who fled in an unknown car in an unknown direction. [Petitioner] claims to have wrestled the knife away from the assailants, wrapped it in a scarf, and put it in his hat. [Petitioner] also told the police that he dragged Neal out of the street to help him.
The clothing that [Petitioner] was wearing on the night of the incident was subjected to forensic analysis. Testing revealed that the blood on [Petitioner's] clothes and on the knife was consistent with the blood of Neal. At trial, a blood spatter analyst opined that the stains found on [Petitioner's] clothing and in the vicinity of Neal's body were inconsistent with [Petitioner's] statements and were more consistent with [Petitioner] and Neal engaging in a struggle. The police later obtained a video of the crime from motion-activated cameras. Based on the clothing he was wearing that night, [Petitioner] was identified in the video as the one who killed Neal.

Roy v. State, 62 A.3d 1183, 1185-86 (Del. 2012).

         In May, 2010, Petitioner was indicted and charged with first degree murder, possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony (“PFDCF”), possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited (“PDWBPP”), third degree assault, and terroristic threatening. Id. at 1186. In April 2011, a Delaware Superior Court jury found Petitioner guilty of first degree murder, PDWDCF, third degree assault, and terroristic threatening; the State entered a nolle prosequi on the severed charge of PDWBPP. Id. The Superior Court sentenced Petitioner to life imprisonment on the murder conviction, and on the remaining convictions, to an aggregate of twelve years at Level V incarceration, suspended after eleven years for decreasing levels of supervision. See State v. Roy, 2016 WL 1621589, at *1 (Del. Super. Ct. Apr. 21, 2016). The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Petitioner's convictions and sentences. See Roy, 62 A.3d at 1192.

         In July 2013, at Petitioner's request, the Superior Court appointed counsel to represent Petitioner in a Rule 61 proceeding. (D.I. 12 at 4). In November 2014, post-conviction counsel filed in the Delaware Superior Court a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 (“Rule 61 motion”). See State v. Roy, 2015 WL 5000990, at *1 (Del. Super. Ct. July 31, 2015). The Superior Court denied the Rule 61 motion in July 2015. See id. Petitioner appealed that decision, but voluntarily dismissed his appeal on November 30, 2015. (D.I. 12 at 4; D.I. 15-6 at 2).

         In February 2016, Petitioner filed a second Rule 61 motion. See Roy, 2016 WL 1621589, at *1. The Superior Court summarily dismissed the second Rule 61 motion as procedurally barred in April 2016. Id. at *5. Petitioner did not appeal that decision.

         II. GOVERNING LEGAL PRINCIPLES

         A. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death ...


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