United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS
R. SWEENEY II JUDGE
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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
Grayson then filed the petition for a writ of habeas corpus
that is now before the Court.
habeas corpus relief is available only to petitioners in
custody “in violation of the Constitution or laws . . .