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Grayson v. Zatecky

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

August 9, 2019

TYRONE GRAYSON, Petitioner,
v.
DUSHAN ZATECKY, Respondent.

          ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORUPUS

          JAMES R. SWEENEY II JUDGE

         Petitioner Tyrone Grayson was convicted in an Indiana state court of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Mr. Grayson now seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, arguing (1) that he was stopped without reasonable suspicion in violation of the Fourth Amendment and (2) that trial counsel was ineffective for not challenging the stop under the Indiana Constitution. Mr. Grayson's first claim is barred by Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465 (1976), and his second claim is barred by 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). Therefore, the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is denied, and a certificate of appealability will not issue.

         I. Background

         The Court will “presume that the state court's factual determinations are correct unless the petitioner rebuts the presumption by clear and convincing evidence.” Perez-Gonzalez v. Lashbrook, 904 F.3d 557, 562 (7th Cir. 2018); see 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1).

         On direct appeal, the Indiana Supreme Court summarized facts of Mr. Grayson's stop:

On February 23, 2014, at approximately 5:20 a.m., Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Jonathan Schultz (“Officer Schultz”) responded to a dispatch that an anonymous caller reported a person inside a silver or gray vehicle waving a firearm at Washington Point Apartments. When Officer Schultz arrived at the apartment complex, he saw a silver vehicle with its headlights off parked perpendicular to the parking spots. As the officer pulled into the parking lot and was driving toward the vehicle, the vehicle pulled into a parking space. The officer did not see any other silver or gray occupied vehicles in the parking lot.
Officer Schultz activated his rear emergency lights and parked his vehicle at an “angle towards where he was parked at, off to the side.” Then the officer, who was in full uniform and carrying a flashlight, approached the driver's side of the vehicle. The driver identified himself as Grayson. Officer Schultz asked Grayson if he lived at the apartment complex, and Grayson stated that he did not but that his passenger did.
Next, Officer Schultz mentioned the dispatch about a person waving a gun. As he continued his conversation with Grayson, through the open driver's side window, Officer Schultz observed the butt of a firearm underneath the driver's seat between Grayson's feet. Officer Schultz asked if any firearms were in the vehicle, and Grayson stated that there were not, a statement that was clearly a lie, based on Officer Schultz's personal observation.

Grayson v. State, 52 N.E. 3d 24');">52 N.E. 3d 24, 25 (Ind.Ct.App. 2016) (“Grayson I”) (footnotes and citations omitted). Officer Schultz's partner searched the vehicle and found a firearm. Id. at 26.

         The State charged Mr. Grayson with unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Id. Before trial, Mr. Grayson moved to suppress evidence of the recovered firearm, arguing (among other things) that Officer Schultz stopped him without reasonable suspicion in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Id. The trial court denied the suppression motion and later found Mr. Grayson guilty at a bench trial. Id. Mr. Grayson appealed, again arguing that Officer Schultz lacked reasonable suspicion to make the initial stop. The appellate court affirmed, Grayson I, and the Indiana Supreme Court denied Mr. Grayson's petition to transfer, dkt. 7-2 at 7.

         Mr. Grayson filed a petition for post-conviction relief in state court, arguing that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to challenge the stop under the Indiana Constitution. Grayson v. State, 2018 WL 4003150, at *2 (Ind Ct. App. July 30, 2018) (“Grayson II”). The trial court denied the petition, and the appellate court affirmed. Id. at *4. The Indiana Supreme Court denied Mr. Grayson's petition to transfer. Dkt. 7-11 at 9.

         Mr. Grayson then filed the petition for a writ of habeas corpus that is now before the Court.

         II. Applicable Law

         Federal habeas corpus relief is available only to petitioners in custody “in violation of the Constitution or laws . . . of ...


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