Archives for posts with tag: rape

RORY DOLAN, Petitioner,
-against-
JOHN J. DONELLI, Respondent.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

06-CV-5891(JS)
2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137406

Decided December 30, 2010 by Judge Joanna Seybert:

On the morning of November 17, 1988, Petitioner raped Mary Jean Sherin.

Brandishing a knife, he forcibly entered her home with a pillowcase cloaking his facial features.

and

During the follow-up police investigation Mrs. Cabo described the rape, the Nissan truck which made an appearance on both November 19 and December 12, the assailant’s appearance (his clothing was reminiscent of a ninja‘s) and had a rape kit performed. (T2. 31; 1392-94.) On December 12, 1990 Mrs. Cabo picked Dolan out of a photospread lineup; presented with another lineup identification on July 14, 1991, she singled him out once more. Separately, Nancy Modica, a neighbor of Cabo’s, identified Dolan in a photo array as the Nissan truck’s driver who was seen near the Cabo house on the morning of the rape. (T2. 1416-21; 1427; 1446-47; 1509-13; 1536; 1682-84; 1716; 1753; 1962-64; 2037; 2040; 2505-23.)

concluding:

the Court DENIES Petitioner’s writ of habeas corpus in its entirety. The Clerk of the Court is directed to mark this matter as CLOSED.

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This is a 2007 habeas petition by a convicted spousal abuser, it is denied. A weird quirk of this story is the presence of an unidentified person in ninja clothing.

ROBERT EDWARD PATTERSON, Petitioner,
v.
GENE M. JOHNSON, DIRECTOR OF THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ROANOKE DIVISION
Civil Action No. 7:07CV00344
2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65873

Decided September 6, 2007, opinion by District Judge Jackson L. Kiser dismissed the habeas petition:

Petitioner Robert Edward Patterson (“Patterson”), a Virginia Department of Corrections inmate proceeding pro se, brings this action for writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss, pursuant to Rule 5 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, to which Patterson filed a timely response, making the matter ripe for disposition. Upon careful review of the extensive state court records and the pleadings and exhibits submitted by the parties, I conclude that Respondent’s Motion to Dismiss must be granted.

Tina Patterson (“Tina”) and Patterson married in June of 2000.

On June 5, 2002, Tina obtained a protective order prohibiting Patterson from having any contact with her, including that he not call, write, follow, stalk, or harass her. The order was to remain in effect for two years.

On July 15, 2002, at about 11:00 p.m., Tina returned home after visiting and drinking a beer with a friend. She later heard suspicious noises outside her home. Tina called her friends June Gerholdt (“Gerholdt”) and Gene Barnett (“Barnett”) to report what she had heard. When Tina went outside to investigate the noises, she saw a man in a black “Ninja-looking suit.” Tina turned around, and was struck in the face by Patterson with both his fist and an Igloo cooler. The person in the “Ninja” clothing ran away and disappeared. Patterson continued to strike Tina in the head and mouth, causing her injuries.

Patterson was ultimately convicted in the Circuit Court of Amherst County upon convictions of spousal rape, abduction, and two counts of violating a protective order (Circuit Court Case Nos. CR02011612-01; CR02011612-02; CR02011541 and CR02011590-00). On December 14, 2001, he was sentenced to a total term of thirty years and twenty-four months, with fifteen years suspended.

The facts do not make clear who that person in Ninja clothing was. The defendant claims he has been framed by his (ex)wife, that the sex was consensual and that she’s trying to punish him for claims he brought against her. Other elements of the wife’s story were corroborated by physical evidence at the scene, the jury obviously believed her, and this district court finds no reason to overturn the conviction.

Appeal denied February 2008, writ of cert denied Oct 2008.

Richard Allen Jackson raped and killed a woman. When arrested he waived Miranda and confessed completely. Substantial corroborating evidence was found at his home. He was sentenced to death. But then a judge reversed saying the confession should be barred. Instead of a new trial, he plead guilty to lesser crimes with agreement to serve 30 years. But no one told him that he could face federal charges too. And he did. And he was sentenced to death again. Below, the Federal appeal. He lost. Jackson is currently on Federal Death Row awaiting execution.

Richard Allen Jackson


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RICHARD ALLEN JACKSON, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 01-9
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
327 F.3d 273
; 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 4834; 60 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. (Callaghan) 1319
September 23, 2002, Argued
March 18, 2003, Decided

The opinion by Judge Niemeyer describes the horrific incident and the procedural history prior to this appeal:

On Halloween morning, October 31, 1994, Karen Styles, a recent college graduate, disappeared from a trail in the Pisgah National Forest. A search initiated that evening, after Styles failed to return home, revealed no trace of Styles herself. Her car was, however, still parked at the lot at the head of the trail, and her car key was found on the trail two-tenths of a mile from the parking lot.

A little more than three weeks later, Styles’ nude body was discovered by a hunter, duct-taped to a tree, where investigators also found a duct-tape wrapper, a pornographic magazine, and one spent Remington .22 caliber rifle casing. An autopsy revealed that Styles died from a single bullet wound to the head. She also had suffered ten stun-gun wounds to her body, nine of them inflicted within six inches of her pubic area. Investigators recognized from the duct-tape wrapper that the brand was sold at K-Mart. When sheriff’s deputies contacted the nearest K-Mart store, located approximately one mile from the murder site, they discovered a receipt for a transaction that occurred on October 28, 1994, evidencing the purchase of a .22 rifle, a box of Remington .22 rifle ammunition, duct tape, a flashlight, and batteries. The ATF Form 4473 generated upon the purchase of the rifle revealed the purchaser to be Richard Allen Jackson.

On December 20, 1994, Jackson voluntarily accompanied police to the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department for an interview. After the officers advised Jackson of his Miranda rights, Jackson waived them and answered questions for approximately three hours about his background and his whereabouts in the days surrounding the date of Styles’ murder. When the sheriff asked Jackson what he did with the rifle that he used to shoot Karen Styles, Jackson responded, “I think I need a lawyer present.” The sheriff then informed Jackson that he would not ask him any more questions and stated, “Son, I know you bought the rifle and the duct tape at K-Mart on the 28th of October. I know you were in Bent Creek on the day she was killed, and that’s fine, but you need help.” At this point Jackson broke down, crying and insisting that he did not mean to kill anybody. After the officers informed Jackson that he did not need to say anything because he had invoked his right to counsel, Jackson stated that he wanted to tell the whole story to get it off of his chest. He then signed another waiver of his Miranda rights.

Jackson confessed fully. He stated that he arrived at the park around 8:00 a.m. and watched Styles as she stretched and walked down the trail. After sitting for a while, he took the gun out of the back of the car, loaded it, and started down the trail. He also had duct tape, a stun gun, and a pornographic magazine in his coat pockets. After Karen Styles passed him on the trail, Jackson turned around and pointed the gun at her, whereupon Styles took a key out of her shoe and told Jackson that there was money in her car and that he could take the car. She pleaded with him not to hurt her. Jackson placed duct tape over Styles’ eyes and mouth and led her to a remote area, where he stood her with her back to a tree and duct-taped her to the tree. The duct tape on Styles’ mouth had come loose by this time, and Styles again asked him not to hurt her. Jackson taped her mouth shut again, ripped off her shorts and underpants, and then raped her vaginally. Although Jackson’s rendition did not describe his use of the stun gun, evidence was presented at trial that he shocked Styles with a stun gun once above her left breast and several times in the pubic area. Jackson stated that he then moved away from Styles and looked at his pornographic magazine while masturbating. The tape over Styles’ mouth loosened, and Styles began screaming. Jackson walked up to her, put the gun to her head, and shot her once. That afternoon, Jackson went back to the K-Mart, returned the gun, and received a refund.

Jackson was crying during his entire confession, and the report of his confession indicates that at times during the interview the officers could not understand his words. Jackson repeated many times that he did not mean to kill Styles.

A search of Jackson’s home and cars, conducted pursuant to a search warrant, led investigators to recover a functional stun gun, a flashlight, a black “Ninja” outfit, a wrapper to an adult magazine, and a partially empty box of .22 caliber rifle bullets.

Jackson was charged in Buncombe County with first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, and first-degree rape. After the trial court denied Jackson’s pretrial motion to suppress his confession, a jury returned a guilty verdict on all three charges. On the jury’s recommendation, the court imposed the death penalty for the murder conviction and prison sentences for the rape and kidnapping convictions. On appeal, the North Carolina Supreme Court reversed Jackson’s conviction and ordered a new trial, concluding that police had violated Jackson’s Miranda right not to be interrogated after he had invoked his right to counsel. State v. Jackson, 348 N.C. 52, 497 S.E.2d 409, 412 (N.C. 1998).

On March 3, 2000, Jackson pled guilty in State court to second degree murder, first-degree rape, and second-degree kidnapping. The stipulated prison sentences in the agreement totaled over 31 years, and Jackson received credit for 5 years already served. At the time of Jackson’s plea, none of his lawyers considered the possibility of a federal prosecution, and none advised Jackson that he could be subject to federal prosecution.

On November 6, 2000, a federal grand jury returned a superseding bill of indictment charging Jackson, in one count, of using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, specifically murder, kidnapping, and aggravated sexual abuse, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(j)(1). At trial, the government called 22 witnesses during the guilt phase and introduced extensive physical and testimonial evidence, including Jackson’s confession, which was received without objection. The jury returned a guilty verdict and then proceeded to consider the appropriate sentence.

During the sentencing phase, the government presented the testimony of the victim’s mother, Kathleen Styles, and the defense presented the testimony of Jackson’s adoptive mother, Sally Jackson. The defense also attempted to offer the testimony of the adoptive parents of Jackson’s natural sister, who suffered behavioral disorders, but the district court did not allow this testimony without any expert testimony linking the sister’s mental condition to Jackson’s. To rebut Sally Jackson’s testimony, the government played for the jury, over Jackson’s objection, portions of a videotaped interview given by Jackson for FOX News in October 2000, after his State conviction had been reversed and he had been sentenced pursuant to a guilty plea. The jury found unanimously that the government had proved beyond a reasonable doubt four aggravating factors, including the fact that Karen Styles’ death occurred during the commission of the offense of kidnapping, as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 1201, and the fact that Jackson committed the crime in an “especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner in that it involved torture or serious physical abuse to Karen Styles.” Various jurors found 14 mitigating circumstances, and the jury found unanimously that “the aggravating factor or factors found to exist sufficiently outweighed all the mitigating factor or factors found to exist to justify a death sentence.” All 12 jurors signed the verdict form, unanimously recommending that Jackson be sentenced to death.

In accordance with that recommendation, the district court entered judgment on May 14, 2001, finding Jackson guilty of the offense charged in the indictment and imposing the sentence of death. The judgment also provided: “This judgment is effective immediately and is neither consecutive to nor delayed by the judgment and sentence previously imposed by the State of North Carolina.”

The Court finds no reversible error and upholds the conviction and death sentence. US Supreme Court certiorari denied, 124 S. Ct. 566 (2003).

Recall also the NinjaLaw case of the Ninja-pants killer. Also from North Carolina, and also currently awaiting death sentence in Federal Death Row. It is unclear when either of these people might be executed.

karen styles grave

Recall the case of US v. Ronald Gray, aka “Ninja Pants” as described in prior NinjaLaw post. I already told you about his case and subsequent appeals and as promised “ninja pants” has reappeared here at #35, the appeal in 1999. This opinion is the 35th Federal Court opinion with the word “ninja” and it appears only as an attachment listing the appellant’s claims. Here, the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces affirmed the conviction, the military rank demotion and the death sentence as ordered by the US Army Court of Military Review. The Court did not agree with claims that the ninja pants should have been suppressed.

For more information about serial killer Ronald Gray see his wikipedia entry.

In 1992, a US Army court of Military Review decided an petition of appeal on the court martial of Specialist Ronald A. Gray, convicted of “attempted murder, premeditated murder (two specifications), rape (three specifications), larceny, robbery (two specifications), forcible sodomy (two specifications), and burglary” and was sentenced (at his 1991 trial) to death.

UNITED STATES, Appellee v. Specialist Four RONALD A. GRAY, 261-69-7258, United States Army, Appellant
ACMR 8800807
UNITED STATES ARMY COURT OF MILITARY REVIEW
37 M.J. 730

In the December 15, 1992, decision Judge Naughton wrote:

On 6 January, the authorities observed the appellant with a dark bundle underneath his arm. When the authorities apprehended the appellant, he no longer had the bundle; however, authorities found a pair of black karate or “ninja” pants close by in a garbage can. A portion of the cloth belt strap was missing from the pants. The appellant denied committing any offenses and invoked his right to counsel.

continuing:

A few hours later the authorities discovered Ms. R’s body in the woods not far from her taxi cab. The body was lying face down in a wooded area. The body was nude except for a pair of socks. Ms. R had been gagged with the black cloth belt strap from the appellant’s “ninja” pants, and her hands had been tied behind her back. She had received multiple stab wounds. She also suffered bruises on her eyebrow, bruises on her nose, and a laceration on her lip. Swabs taken from her vagina and anus revealed that she had been raped and sodomized. The appellant’s fingerprints were found on the interior door handle of Ms. R’s taxi, and money in his possession at the time of his arrest was found to have Ms. R’s fingerprints on it.

This Court went on to affirm the convictions and the sentence of death:

We conclude that the sentence is appropriate for the crimes of which the accused stands convicted.

But this was not the end (nor was it the beginning) for US v. Gray in the Federal Courts. In fact, Lexis Shepardizing lists this case with three prior history citations and 48(!) subsequent history citations – many many motions denied. In March 1995, the case was argued before the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and then reargued in December of 1996 and finally decided in May 1999. The Court again affirmed the criminal convictions and the order of death. This US v Gray case will appear again (when we get to #35) in our NinjaLaw review of all “ninja” opinions because the 1999 decision also mentions the “ninja pants” by including and appendix list of all of appellant’s claims of error, including:

18. The military judge improperly denied the defense motion to suppress the black “ninja” pants.

In 2001, the Supreme Court of the United States (Justices Rehnquist, Stevens, O’Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, and Breyer) denied the petition for writ of certiorari in March 2001 and then in May 2001 denied petition for rehearing.

But still that was not the end for Specialist Ronald Gray.

A 2008 court stayed the execution and just this past January 26, 2012, a US Army Court of Criminal Appeals decided yet another denial:

Private E1 RONALD GRAY United States Army, Petitioner v. Colonel ERIC BELCHER, Commandant, United States Disciplinary Barracks and THE UNITED STATES, Respondents
ARMY MISC 201100931
1 The docket number for petitioner’s direct appeal is ACMR 8800807.
UNITED STATES ARMY COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS
70 M.J. 646

Judge Johnson denied this most recent motion, a “Petition for Extraordinary Relief in the Nature of a Writ of Error Coram Nobis”, and explained some of the recent history:

On 28 July 2008, the President of the United States [George W. Bush] approved petitioner’s sentence to death and ordered it executed. The Secretary of the Army scheduled petitioner’s execution for 10 December 2008; however, before it could be carried out, the United States District Court for the District of Kansas granted a stay of execution in anticipation of petitioner filing a petition for extraordinary relief in the nature of a writ of habeas corpus. Thereafter, petitioner filed a writ of habeas corpus, which is still pending before that court.

On 11 February 2011, petitioner filed with this court the instant petition for extraordinary relief in the nature of a writ of coram nobis. We then ordered the government to show cause why the writ should not issue, and it filed an answer brief on 14 March 2011. Petitioner filed a reply brief on 13 June 2011. Petitioner is currently in confinement at the United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Meanwhile, a 2008 opinion, US v. O’Neil, cited the 1992 Gray opinion for the principle: “photographs, although gruesome, are admissible”. By all accounts Gray was convicted of horrible acts of violence and nearly every Court since 1991 has ruled against him and yet still 20 years later his death sentence has not been imposed. This would be the first execution in the military since John A. Bennett in 1961.

But it still may be quite a long life left for Ronald Gray. Who knows how long these court proceedings could continue?