United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
JOHN J. CARROLL, Petitioner,
DIRECTOR, V.D.O.C., Respondent.
K. MOON SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Carroll, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed
this petition for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254, challenging the validity of his
confinement on a judgment by the Warren County Circuit Court.
Respondent filed a motion to dismiss Carroll's §
2254 petition, and Carroll responded, making the matter ripe
for disposition. After review of the record, I dismiss the
November 12, 2013, the Warren County Circuit Court entered
final judgment, pursuant to a plea agreement, convicting
Carroll of aggravated sexual battery and indecent liberties.
The trial court imposed a five year active sentence.
Carroll's direct and collateral appeals were
November 3, 2017, Carroll timely filed the present petition,
stating two claims:
1. The trial court erred in refusing to suppress the
petitioner's custodial statements to police which were
made without Miranda warnings and without a waiver;
2. Trial counsel was ineffective for failing to (a) object or
impeach the officer's inconsistent testimony during the
motion to suppress and (b) allow the petitioner to testify to
rebut the testimony of the officer.
moves to dismiss Carroll's claims as without merit, and
Carroll responded to the motion.
response to the motion to dismiss, Carroll appears to allege
additional ineffective assistance claims:
3. Counsel failed to recognize and object to the alleged
victim's inadmissible statements;
4. Counsel failed to investigate the DNA evidence;
5. Counsel failed to argue that Carroll's confession was
inadmissible because Carroll was on drugs at the time of the
6. Counsel failed to investigate the case more thoroughly.
in Opp. of Mot. to Dismiss 11-16, ECF No. 21. Even though
Carroll did not request permission to file an amended
petition, I address his new claims. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(d). For relief, Carroll seeks vacation of his
convictions and a new trial.
Standards of Review
obtain federal habeas relief, a petitioner must demonstrate
that he is “in custody in violation of the Constitution
or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(a). Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), however, the
federal habeas court may not grant a writ of habeas corpus
based on any claim that a state court decided on the merits
unless that adjudication:
(1) [R]esulted 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
(2) [R]esulted 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). “Where, as here, the state
court's application of governing federal law is
challenged, it must be shown to be not only erroneous, but
objectively unreasonable.” Yarborough v.
Gentry, 540 U.S. 1, 5 (2003). Under this standard,
“[a] state court's determination that a claim lacks
merit precludes federal habeas relief so long as
‘fairminded jurists could disagree' on the
correctness of the state court's ...