Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ford v. Banks

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

April 11, 2019

DARIUS CORNELIUS FORD PETITIONER
v.
SUPERINTENDENT JACQUELYN BANKS RESPONDENT

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOHN C. GARGIULO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         BEFORE THE COURT is the Petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for a Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody (ECF No. 1), filed by Petitioner Darius Cornelius Ford, and his Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (ECF No. 13). The Petition challenges Ford's 2012 conviction for aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the record, and relevant legal authority, the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge recommends that Petitioner's request for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 and his Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings be denied. Ford has not demonstrated that he is entitled to federal habeas relief.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Ford is a postconviction inmate in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. After a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Scott County, Mississippi, Ford was convicted of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on February 8, 2012. He was sentenced as a habitual offender to twenty years for aggravated assault and ten years for possession of a firearm, with sentences to run consecutively. After his pro se Motion for a New Trial was overruled (ECF No. 10-1 at 90), Ford filed a pro se appeal.

         The Mississippi Court of Appeals suspended Ford's appeal for the trial court to determine if Ford intelligently and competently waived his right to counsel (ECF No. 10-5 at 81-82). After the trial court found in the affirmative, the Mississippi Court of Appeals considered the following issues:

         1. Whether the indictment properly charged Ford as a habitual offender;

         2. Whether he was denied the right to a speedy trial;

         3. Whether the State was required to produce the witness that certified the documents used to demonstrate Ford's prior convictions;

         4. Whether the circuit court erred in its reading of the Sharplin[1]instruction;

         5. Whether the circuit court properly denied his motions for a directed verdict and a new trial; and

         6. Whether the circuit court committed cumulative error. Ford v. State, 139 So.3d 730 (Miss. Ct. App. 2013).

         The Mississippi Court of Appeals found each of these issues to be without merit and affirmed his conviction. Ford, through counsel, then filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed in the Trial Court with a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief and Motion to Supplement and/or Amend the Petition if Deemed Necessary (ECF No. 10-8 at 146-50). Ford's Petition raised the following issues:

1. In light of the evolving standards of decency doctrine, Ford's sentences are cruel, unusual, excessive, and disproportionate and violate the Eighth Amendment.
2. The trial court failed to comply with the holding in Patton v. State, [2] regarding the Petitioner's election to proceed pro se and in forma pauperis on appeal.
3. Trial counsel provided the Petitioner the ineffective assistance of counsel within the meaning of Strickland v. Washington, and its progeny:
a. Trial counsel was ineffective in failing to stipulate that the Petitioner was a convicted felon;
b. Counsel was ineffective in failing to file and argue a motion to suppress the consent search of the residence;
c. Counsel was ineffective in failing to file and argue a motion to suppress the weapon and ammunition seized as a result of the search of the residence;
d. Counsel was ineffective in failing to file and argue a motion to suppress the identification of the Petitioner as the perpetrator;
e. Counsel was ineffective in failing to offer an alibi jury instruction;
f. Counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the introduction of other crimes and bad acts evidence in violation of the Rules of Evidence;
g. Counsel unfairly prejudiced the Petitioner by referring to him as a drug dealer;
h. Counsel was ineffective in failing to offer a simple assault jury instruction;
i. Counsel was ineffective in failing to request a severance of the counts in the indictment;
j. Counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the admittance of the weapon, ammunition, and male clothing into evidence;
k. Counsel was ineffective in failing to request the court provide a cautionary/limiting jury instruction as to how the jury should view evidence of other crimes;
l. Counsel was ineffective in failing to advise the Petitioner of his fundamental right to be present during all critical phases of the controversy and in failing to conduct a hearing on the Motion for JNOV and/or New Trial with the petitioner present;
m. Counsel was ineffective in failing to move for a mistrial when the trial jury hung up at 9 to 3;
n. Counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the inadequate Sharplin charge.
4. The trial court committed plain error in failing to provide a cautionary jury instruction regarding the use of evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts.
5. Petitioner was denied his constitutional rights due to the cumulative effect of the errors at his trial

(ECF No. 10-8 at 94-142).

         The Mississippi Supreme Court entered an Order allowing Ford to “proceed in the trial court to address whether trial counsel was ineffective by failing to request an alibi jury instruction” (ECF No. 9-4). After response by the State (ECF No. 10-9 at 69-71) and a hearing, the trial court denied Ford's Petition (ECF No. 10-9 at 83-85). The Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that the particular ineffective assistance of counsel claim was without merit. Ford v. State, 230 So.3d 316 (Miss. Ct. App. 2017). Ford's Motion for Rehearing was denied by the Mississippi Court of Appeals, and the Mississippi Supreme Court denied his Petition for Writ of Certiorari and his Motion to Reinstate Writ of Certiorari (ECF No. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.