United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Charles Dunson is serving a 2210-day sentence for his 2016
Marion County, Indiana conviction for carrying a handgun
without a license. He brings this petition for a writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the
reasons that follow, Mr. Dunson's petition for a writ of
habeas corpus is denied and the action is
dismissed with prejudice. In addition, the
Court finds that a certificate of appealability should not
Factual and Procedural Background
court review of a habeas petition presumes all factual
findings of the state court to be correct, absent clear and
convincing evidence to the contrary. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(e)(1); Daniels v. Knight, 476 F.3d 426,
434 (7th Cir. 2007). On direct appeal, the Indiana Court of
Appeals summarized the relevant facts:
On November 20, 2014, officers from the Indianapolis
Metropolitan Police Department were dispatched to the 2400
block of Kenwood Avenue after a number of 911 calls reported
men with guns in the area. There was angry shouting audible
in some of the calls, and one of the dispatches to police
noted those sounds. The dispatchers also relayed reports from
callers that there were thirty people gathering and that one
caller reported someone was attempting to kick in his door.
Officer Matthew Addington and Deputy William Bennett
responded to the dispatches and participated in a traffic
stop involving someone thought to be involved in the
incident. Meanwhile, Officers Tiffany Wren and Cathy Faulk
also responded to the disturbance and spoke with Tamika
Coleman, who was the victim of the altercation. Coleman was
bleeding around her lips and nose, her nose appeared to be
broken, and sections of her hair were torn out. Coleman's
shirt was also torn, and there were footprints on her shirt.
Coleman was “very upset, she was crying, she was
agitated . . . .” Tr. p. 152. While Officers Wren and
Faulk talked to Coleman, a man drove past on a scooter or
motorcycle, and Coleman indicated to the other nearby
officers that he was “involved.” Id.
Officer Faulk issued a police radio broadcast indicating she
had a “conscious and alert” female who was
“bleeding from the face” and then stated
“there's a “black male on a silver scooter,
he's coming toward you; he may be involved” and
described it as a “big scooter, looks like a
motorcycle.” Ex. 3, track 14. Officer Addington
responded, “I see it. It's coming down Kenwood
towards Twenty-Second, ” and then stated, “I have
him detained.” Id.
After Dunson stopped his motorcycle, Officer Addington
approached him and “noticed a bulge in [Dunson's]
groin area . . . there was a flat top to it with a shirt over
top that. Ah, there's a larger bulge beneath that about
the waist line a belt line of the pants of the driver.”
Tr. p. 67. Officer Addington believed the bulge was a weapon,
and he patted Dunson down. Officer Addington discovered a
9mmRuger in Dunson's waist band and seized it.
The State charged Dunson with Class A misdemeanor carrying a
handgun without a license and enhanced the charge to a Level
5 felony because Dunson had a prior conviction for the same
offense. Dunson filed two motions to suppress, both of which
the trial court denied following evidentiary hearings.
Dunson was tried in a bifurcated bench trial. During the
trial, Dunson challenged the admissibility of the handgun.
The trial court overruled Dunson's objection, admitted
the handgun into evidence, and found Dunson guilty of
carrying a handgun without a license. Dunson stipulated to
the Level 5 felony enhancement. The trial court sentenced
Dunson to 2210 days in the Department of Correction.
Dkt. No. 7-5 at 2-3; Dunson v. State, 64 N.E.3d 250,
251 (Ind.Ct.App. 2016) (footnotes omitted).
Dunson appealed, arguing that the handgun was discovered as
part of an illegal search in violation of his Fourth
Amendment rights. On November 16, 2016, the Indiana Court of
Appeals affirmed the conviction. Dunson, 64 N.E.3d
at 256. Mr. Dunson did not file a petition for transfer
seeking discretionary review from the Indiana Supreme Court.
Mr. Dunson also has not sought post-conviction relief.
November 15, 2017, Mr. Dunson filed this petition for a writ
of habeas corpus.