United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division
RICARDO B. FULLER, Petitioner,
ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
LARRY J. McKINNEY, JUDGE United States District Court Southern District of Indiana
For the reasons explained in this Entry, the petition of Ricardo B. Fuller for a writ of habeas corpus must be denied and the action dismissed with prejudice. In addition, the court finds that a certificate of appealability should not issue.
I. The Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
Fuller is serving the executed portion of a sentence of 65 years imposed in 2006 in Tippecanoe County following his convictions for burglary, criminal confinement, and domestic battery and for being a habitual offender. His convictions were affirmed on appeal in Fuller v. State, No. 79A04-0703-CR-147 (Ind.Ct.App. October 23, 2007)(Fuller). The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer on December 20, 2007. The direct appeal was followed with a petition for post-conviction relief, which the trial court denied. Fuller's appeal of that disposition was dismissed with prejudice based on Fuller's failure to file a brief that complied with the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure. Fuller's petition for transfer was denied on October 23, 2012.
The circumstances surrounding Fuller's offenses and prosecution were summarized by the Indiana Court of Appeals in Fuller's direct appeal:
Fuller married L.F. in April 2005. They began experiencing marital problems in September of that year, and L.F. moved in with her mother. By November, Fuller and L.F. had reconciled and decided to rent a house in Lafayette. Only L.F. signed the lease, but Fuller and L.F. both were listed as tenants.
On January 10, 2006, L.F. and Fuller had an argument and Fuller struck L.F. L.F. went to her mother's home and called police from there. Fuller also went to the home and entered it without permission. Police officers arrived and warned Fuller that he was trespassing, but they could not substantiate that L.F. had been battered. They then escorted Fuller back to the house where he had been living with L.F. He packed some belongings and told police that he was going to Kokomo to stay with a "girlfriend." Tr. p. 161.
On February 7, 2006, L.F. met with her landlord and had Fuller removed from the lease. It was the landlord's practice to change the locks on the door anytime there was a change in tenants. On February 10, 2006, L.F. arrived home from work at approximately 10:30 p.m. Also there was L.F.'s roommate, Brandy Loman. After she arrived home, Fuller called L.F., who told Fuller that she had to go to bed and not to call her anymore. Fuller called again, and at that same time there was a knock on the front door, which was locked. Loman looked out the window and saw that it was Fuller. L.F. and Loman refused to open the door, and Fuller said that he would break the door open if they did not let him in. L.F. attempted to call 911, but her phone was no longer working. Fuller then smashed the glass on the door, reached in and unlocked it, and entered the house.
L.F. escaped through the back door of the house, but Fuller caught up with her outside and began battering her. L.F. remembers Fuller punching her in the head and kicking her in the stomach, and she lost consciousness during the beating. L.F. was taken to the hospital, where she was found to have sustained a fracture to the medial wall of the right eye socket, or the part of the eye socket next to the nose. She also had an ethmoid fracture, at the base of the cranium, as well as numerous abrasions and a six-inch laceration above her right eyebrow.
L.F. obtained a protective order against Fuller on February 21, 2006. Nevertheless, Fuller repeatedly continued calling L.F. and leaving threatening messages for her.
On March 23, 2006, the State charged Fuller with Class A felony burglary, Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury, Class D felony domestic battery, and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery in connection with the February 10-11, 2006 incident. The State also charged Fuller with two counts of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy and one count of Class D felony invasion of privacy in connection with violations of the February 21, 2006 protective order.
On March 26, 2006, L.F. got home from work and found Fuller waiting for her in the dining room. Fuller accused L.F. of being unfaithful and punched her in the face at least ten times. He then made L.F. get trash bags in which to put her roommate Loman's belongings. Fuller had both L.F.'s home phone and cell phone so she could not call for help. While L.F. was attempting to put Loman's things in the trash bags, Fuller continued accusing her of cheating and continued punching her, and also kicked her in the stomach and in the head. He threw a beer can at L.F., which lacerated one of her earlobes. He pushed L.F. down the stairs. He threatened to kill L.F. if she admitted to cheating, and to kill her if she did not admit it because he would know she was lying. Then, after hitting L.F. a few more times, Fuller told her to take a shower. She did, and afterwards Fuller allowed her to go to sleep.
Despite having visible marks on her face, L.F. persuaded Fuller to let her go to work the next morning. She was found to have a "blowout" comminuted fracture of her right eye socket. Tr. p. 195. A nurse testified that "blowout" meant there were several fractures of the socket, and comminuted meant the fractures did not fit back together perfectly because some of the bone had been pulverized. L.F. also had ...