United States District Court, N.D. Indiana
SEAN W. CLOVER, Petitioner,
OPINION AND ORDER
L. MILLER, JR. JUDGE
Clover, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a habeas corpus
petition to challenge his convictions for two counts of
dealing cocaine under Cause No. 3D01-1002-FA-263. After a
jury trial, the Bartholomew Superior Court sentenced Mr.
Clover to forty years of incarceration.
brief filed with the Court of Appeals of Indiana on direct
appeal, Mr. Clover summarized the facts of his case as
On two occasions - August 21, 2008, and September 5, 2008
-Detective Grant Martin, an undercover officer with the
Columbus Police Department, contacted the Defendant, Sean W.
Clover, by telephone in order to set up the purchase of more
than three (3) grams of cocaine.
On August 21, 2008, after requesting Mr. Clover provide him
with one-quarter (1/4) ounce of cocaine, he drove to Mr.
Clover's residence. Mr. Clover joined him in the vehicle,
then directed him to Beech Acres Trailer Park where Mr.
Clover exchanged currency with another individual for a
quantity of cocaine; the money he exchanged included $350.00
in cash provided by Det. Martin. They returned to Mr.
Clover's home where Mr. Clover weighed out one-quarter
(1/4) ounce of cocaine, gave it to Det. Martin, and kept the
rest. Laboratory tests later confirmed that the substance
provided to Det. Martin was cocaine; it weighed 6.82 grams.
On September 5, 2008, this time after requesting Mr. Clover
provide him with one-half (1/2) ounce of cocaine, Det. Martin
again drove to Mr. Clover's residence. Again, Mr. Clover
joined him in the vehicle, then directed him back to Beech
Acres Trailer Park. After Det. Martin provided Mr. Clover
with $550.00 in cash, Mr. Clover left the vehicle and
returned later with a quantity of cocaine he promptly handed
to Det. Martin. Laboratory tests later confirmed that the
substance provided to Det. Martin was cocaine; it weighed
After obtaining the cocaine on September 5, 2008, it was time
to take Mr. Clover back to his residence. However, Det.
Martin had arranged with another police officer to make a
“bogus” traffic stop of his vehicle. This stop
was intended to verify Mr. Clover's identity. Mr. Clover
had been referring to himself as Bobby Johnson. (Det. Martin
had been referring to himself as Matt.) Therefore, on the way
to Mr. Clover's residence, Officer Morgan Homer stopped
Det. Martin's vehicle; he indicated that he stopped the
vehicle because “Matt” had been swerving. He
proceeded to check the identity of both men, and he was able
to verify the defendant's identity as Scan W. Clover.
Once the stop was completed, Det. Martin proceeded to take
Mr. Clover home.
* * *
On September 10, 2010, the jury convicted Mr. Clover of both
counts as charged. On October 26, 2010, the trial court
sentenced Mr. Clover to forty (40) years on each count, to be
for Appellant at 3-6, Clover v. State, No.
3A04-1010-CR-675 (Ind.Ct.App. March 28, 2011), 2011 WL
Clover says his trial counsel was ineffective for: (1)
failing to challenge the traffic stop for lack of probable
cause; (2) failing to object to an audio recording at trial
on the basis of authenticity and as a violation of his rights
under the Confrontation Clause; (3) failing to object to the
prosecution's violation of the order of separation
between witnesses with respect to Detective Neal; and (4)
failing to impeach Detective Martin's testimony about the
authenticity of the audio recording.
considering the merits of a habeas petition, a federal court
must ensure that the petitioner has exhausted all available
remedies in state court. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A);
Lewis v. Sternes, 390 F.3d 1019, 1025 (7th Cir.
2004). To avoid procedural default, a habeas petitioner must
fully and fairly present his federal claims to the state
courts. Boyko v. Parke, 259 F.3d 781, 788 (7th Cir.
2001). Fair presentment requires “the petitioner to
assert his federal claim through one complete round of
state-court review, either on direct appeal of his conviction
or in post-conviction proceedings.” Lewis v.
Sternes, 390 F.3d at 1025 (internal quotations and
citations omitted). If the State court declines to address
the petitioner's claims based on a lack of ...