United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Honorable Candy W. Dale United States Magistrate Judge
in Petitioner Mitchell Lee Walck's habeas corpus matter,
the Court granted Respondent Josh Tewalt's Motion for
Partial Summary Dismissal, resulting in dismissal of Claims
1(e), 1(f), 1(g), and 3. (Dkts. 23, 49.) The remaining claims
are ready for adjudication on the merits. Both named parties
have consented to the jurisdiction of a United States
Magistrate Judge to conduct all proceedings in this case in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (Dkt. 14.)
Court takes judicial notice of the record from
Petitioner's state court proceedings, lodged by the
parties. See Fed. R. Evid. 201(b); Dawson v.
Mahoney, 451 F.3d 550, 551 (9th Cir. 2006).
carefully reviewed the record and considered the arguments of
the parties, the Court finds that the parties have adequately
presented the facts and legal arguments in the briefs and
that oral argument is unnecessary. See D. Idaho L.
Civ. R. 7.1(d). Accordingly, the Court enters the following
after midnight on December 1, 2012, law enforcement officers
in Athol, Idaho, tried to pull over Petitioner's vehicle.
Petitioner failed to stop his truck for the officers, instead
leading them on a chase from Athol to Rathdrum, Idaho. Police
officers set up a spike system in Rathdrum, causing
Petitioner's driver's front tire to go flat, and yet
he kept going.
Petitioner's truck finally came to a stop, he fled on
foot. Officer Kevin White pursued Petitioner. Seconds later,
Petitioner turned and fired a single shot from his pistol at
White, missing him. Officers immediately stopped their
pursuit, and Petitioner got away. However, officers
discovered Petitioner's identity and name from the
vehicle registration left behind in the abandoned truck.
(See State's Lodging A-1 to A-2.)
that same day, Susan Smith went outside her home to let her
cat out. Petitioner was hiding behind a woodpile in her yard.
He revealed himself, pushed his gun into her back, and led
her inside the house. There, he took a bath, trimmed his
beard, and prepared food. Petitioner then directed Smith to
get into her 2005 Subaru Forrester at gunpoint and drove away
with her. (See id.)
next day, Petitioner let Smith go in an Albertson's
parking lot in Glendive, Montana, making arrangements for her
to stay with a church group when he dropped her off.
Petitioner then traveled to North Dakota in Smith's
Subaru. Smith immediately called her sister and Idaho law
enforcement when she was released by Petitioner. (See
North Dakota, officers received a notification to keep a
watch for Petitioner, who might be traveling through the
state in the kidnaping victim's Subaru. Petitioner was
arrested in North Dakota and charged with Terrorizing,
Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Possession of Stolen
Property (the Subaru stolen from Idaho), and Felon in
Possession of a Firearm. (State's Lodging D-8.)
Petitioner had served one year on the ten-year Possession of
Stolen Property sentence when he was sentenced to prison in
Idaho for robbery-with both crimes centering on the Subaru
stolen from the kidnaping victim. The Subaru was eventually
returned to the victim, with 1500 additional miles on the
odometer and various types of damage, and without the key,
electronic key fob, and floor mat. (See id.)
advice from public defender Christopher Schwartz, Petitioner
entered into a plea agreement with the State of Idaho and
pleaded guilty to and was convicted of robbery, second degree
kidnaping, and aggravated assault on a law enforcement
officer in a criminal action in the First Judicial District
Court in Kootenai County, Idaho. A judgment of conviction was
entered on April 23, 2014. Petitioner's Idaho sentences
were ordered to run concurrently with the North Dakota
sentences Petitioner was serving.
habeas corpus petitions are governed by Title 28 U.S.C.§
2254(d), as amended by the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”). Title 28
U.S.C.§ 2254(d) limits relief to instances where the
state court's adjudication of the petitioner's claim:
1. resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved
an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal
law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States;
2. resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented
in the state court proceeding.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).
assess whether habeas corpus relief is warranted, the federal
district court reviews “the last state-court
adjudication on the merits.” Greene v. Fisher,
132 S.Ct. 38, 45 (2011). The deferential standard of Section
2254(d) applies regardless of whether the state court
decision “is unaccompanied by an opinion explaining the
reasons relief has been denied.” Harrington v.
Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 98 (2011). “When a federal
claim has been presented to a state court and the state court
has denied relief, it may be presumed that the state court
adjudicated the claim on the merits in the absence of any
indication or state-law procedural principles to the
contrary.” Id. at 99. When the last
adjudication on the merits provides a reasoned opinion,
federal courts evaluate the opinion as the grounds for
denial. 28 U.S.C. 2254(d).
where the state's highest court did not issue a reasoned
decision, courts within the Ninth Circuit review the decision
of the Idaho Court of Appeals using the “look
through” principle of Ylst v. Nunnemaker, 501
U.S. 797 (1991), and “presume the higher court agreed
with and adopted the reasons given by the lower court.”
Curiel v. Miller, 830 F.3d 864 (9th Cir.
a logical rather than a sequential pattern, the Court begins
with Claim 2, Petitioner's double jeopardy claim, because
it is the foundation for one of his ineffective assistance of
counsel claims, which the Court will discuss directly after
Standard of Law
Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment protects
against “multiple punishments for the same
offense.” Ohio v. Johnson, 467 U.S. 493, 498
(1984). The protection against cumulative punishments
“is designed to ensure that the sentencing discretion
of courts is confined to the limits established by the
legislature.” Id. at 499.
though application of double jeopardy principles may not make
intuitive sense to a nonlawyer, the law is clearly
established that the Double Jeopardy Clause's protections
are not invoked when a defendant is charged by two
separate sovereigns. In the context of simultaneous federal
and state sovereign government charges, the Supreme Court
In Bartkus v. Illinois, 359 U.S. 121, 79 S.Ct. 676,
3 L.Ed.2d 684 (1959), and Abbate v. United States,
359 U.S. 187, 79 S.Ct. 666, 3 L.Ed.2d 729 (1959), this Court
reaffirmed the well-established principle that a federal
prosecution does not bar a subsequent state prosecution of
the same person for the same acts, and a state prosecution
does not bar a federal one. The basis for this doctrine is
that prosecutions under the laws of separate sovereigns do
not, in the ...