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Collins v. Clarke

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

September 24, 2014

SHAIN CLAUDE COLLINS, Petitioner,
v.
HAROLD W. CLARKE, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GLEN E. CONRAD, Chief District Judge.

Shain Claude Collins, a Virginia inmate proceeding with counsel, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254. Collins challenges the validity of his confinement pursuant to the judgment of the Circuit Court of Tazewell County after a jury convicted him of robbery, statutory burglary, use of a firearm in the commission of a robbery, and wearing a mask in public. After careful review of the parties' submissions and state court records, the court concludes that respondent's motion to dismiss must be granted.

I

While wearing a mask and brandishing a firearm, Collins robbed a clerk at the Doran Grocery in Tazewell County. The clerk, who was the only eyewitness, testified at trial that she recognized Collins' voice, eyes, and cheek bones because Collins was a frequent customer of the store. The clerk also testified she identified Collins as the robber during a "showup" at Collins' house on the night of the robbery.[1] Collins subsequently admitted to police that he robbed the clerk at gunpoint. However, Collins testified at trial that the police threatened him and misunderstood his statements. Collins also testified that he could not have robbed the Doran Grocery because he was at home with his wife except for briefly going to a relative's house and a different store named F&M Market. The jury convicted Collins of robbery, statutory burglary, use of a firearm in the commission of a robbery, and wearing a mask in public, and the Circuit Court of Tazewell County imposed the jury's sentence of life plus 54 years. Collins unsuccessfully appealed to the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Supreme Court of Virginia. Collins also filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the Supreme Court of Virginia, which denied the petition after considering its merits.

Collins alleges the following claims in the instant habeas petition:

1A. Collins was subjected to an unnecessarily suggestive and tainted identification procedure;
1B. Counsel rendered ineffective assistance by not filing a motion to suppress Collins' identification by the victim, not investigating the suppression issue, and not objecting to the identification at trial;
2A. The police did not advise Collins of his Miranda[2] rights, did not obtain a waiver of the Miranda rights, and did not stop the interrogation when Collins asked for an attorney;
2B. Counsel rendered ineffective assistance by not investigating Collins' statements to the police and not filing a motion to suppress these statements; and
3. Counsel rendered ineffective assistance by:
A. Stipulating to evidence that Collins was a convicted felon;
B. Not objecting to testimony that Collins was a convicted felon;
C. Not cross examining or not adequately cross examining the victim and Detective Mike Shawver;
D. Not objecting to prejudicial, irrelevant, and privileged testimony from Collins' wife, not filing a pretrial motion about spousal privilege, and ...

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