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Ivy v. Superintendent

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

February 26, 2015

JOHN IVY, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, Respondent.

ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, District Judge.

For the reasons explained in this Entry, the petition of John Ivy 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.

The Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

I. Nature of the Case

Ivy seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a).

II. Parties

Ivy is confined at a state prison in Indiana. The respondent is Ivy's custodian, sued in his official capacity as a representative of the State of Indiana.

III. Procedural Background

Ivy was convicted in a state court of murder. His conviction was affirmed on appeal in Ivy v. State, 715 N.E.2d 408, 410 (Ind. 1999)( Ivy ). The trial court's denial of Ivy's petition for postconviction relief' was affirmed on appeal in Ivy v. State, 985 N.E.2d 80 (Ind.Ct.App. March 12, 2013)(Table)( Ivy II ). The filing of this action followed. The record has been appropriately expanded.

IV. Statement of Facts

It is noted in Jones v. Butler, 2015 WL 430436, at *1 (7th Cir. February 3, 2015), that "[i]n § 2254 proceedings, federal courts are foreclosed from fact-finding. We therefore defer to the findings of the [state] court, which have not been challenged and are presumed to be correct unless rebutted by clear and convincing evidence." (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1) and Harris v. Thompson, 698 F.3d 609, 613 (7th Cir. 2012)).

An Indiana jury rejected Ivy's alibi defense and found Ivy guilty of the November 21, 1996 murder of King David Preston in the Muncie apartment of Michael Horton. The day before Preston's murder, Ivy, Antione Barber and a third man had been robbed at gunpoint by Preston and three other men. Crediting the evidence believed by the jury-meaning the evidence most favorable to the prosecution, Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 326 (1979)("a federal habeas corpus court faced with a record of historical facts that supports conflicting inferences must presume... that the trier of fact resolved any such conflicts in favor of the prosecution, and must defer to that resolution")-the robbery occurred at the apartment of Tanisha Love, Ivy's car keys had been taken during the robbery, Donica Hall arrived at Love's apartment as several men ran out of the apartment, a police report was made concerning the robbery, and Hall drove Ivy, Barber, and the third man who had been robbed to their hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Hall then drove Ivy and Barber back to Muncie, arriving at Love's apartment at approximately 4 a.m. on November 21, 1996. Ivy and Barber were seen entering Horton's apartment building at approximately 8 p.m. At that time, Preston was at Horton's apartment. Horton answered a knock at his door, saw Ivy and Barber in the hallway, and fled to the apartment across the hall to call 911. Horton heard four or five gunshots, followed by steps retreating down the stairs. Horton return to his apartment and found Preston bleeding on the floor. A few days after Preston's murder, Ivy made an inculpatory statement to Jimmy Powell, the man who had seen Ivy and Barber entering Horton's apartment building on the evening of November 21, 1996.

Ivy and Barber were charged with Preston's murder. In separate trials, each was found guilty. Ivy was sentenced on August 13, 1998, to an executed term of 65 years.

V. Ivy's Claims

Ivy seeks habeas corpus relief based on the following claims:

1) the Indiana Supreme Court's finding that the trial court committed no error in giving an accomplice liability instruction to the jury that did not include a statement of reasonable doubt was contrary to clearly established federal ...

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