The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sand, District Judge.
Larry Rollins, a/k/a Donald Beauchene, petitions this court
for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Petitioner argues that his right against self-incrimination
under the fifth amendment and his right to counsel under the
sixth amendment were violated when the trial court failed to
suppress a confession obtained after a defective Miranda
warning, that petitioner was denied effective assistance of
counsel at trial, and that the trial court erred by not
assessing petitioner's competence to stand trial. For the
reasons stated below, Rollins' petition is denied.
On October 14, 1978, petitioner, a building superintendent's
assistant and also evidently an escaped patient from a mental
institution, painted the apartment of Paula Goldberg.
According to Ms. Goldberg as petitioner was about to leave her
apartment, he locked the door and started to punch her. After
an extensive beating, Ms. Goldberg was raped and sodomized
twice. Petitioner then offered to help Ms. Goldberg, telling
her that he would call the police and inform them that he had
saved her from her assailants.
When the police arrived, petitioner came out of the
building, approached their car, and told the officers that a
"young lady" in the building had just been beaten by two black
men. Petitioner escorted Detective Reid and Officer Maczaj
into the building and led them to the victim's apartment. At
first Ms. Goldberg was unable to respond to the officers'
questions, and each time the officers asked her what had
happened, petitioner repeated his story about the two black
men. When petitioner eventually was moved a few feet away from
the victim, she jumped into Officer Maczaj's arms and
identified the petitioner as her assailant.
Detective Reid immediately handcuffed petitioner and told
him that he was under arrest for assault. Reid then advised
he had the right to remain silent, the right to
counsel, the right if he couldn't afford one, one
would be provided for him, and that he didn't
have to answer any questions unless he wanted.
Respondent's Supplemental Answer at 4. When Reid asked
petitioner if had understood these warnings, petitioner did
Officer Maczaj then took petitioner into the hallway, asked
him to identify himself, and asked if petitioner knew Ms.
Goldberg. Petitioner replied that he did know her and that he
was painting her apartment as an employee of the
superintendent. When Maczaj asked petitioner if he had had an
argument with Ms. Goldberg, petitioner answered "yes." Maczaj
also asked if petitioner had beaten her, to which petitioner
responded "yes, I did it."
Officer Maczaj, using a printed form, then read petitioner
his complete Miranda warnings. After each warning, Maczaj asked
petitioner if he understood. Upon completion of his recitation,
Officer Maczaj asked petitioner if he was willing to answer
questions without an attorney present. Petitioner responded
affirmatively, and the officer once again asked petitioner
about the incident, and petitioner again admitted that he had
beaten Ms. Goldberg.
On February 14, 1980, Justice Greenfield of the New York
Supreme Court, after conducting a hearing, denied petitioner's
motion to suppress the inculpatory statements obtained by
Officer Maczaj at the victim's apartment. Petitioner had also
apparently refused to authorize the state of Maine to release
any of his records. That same day petitioner proceeded to his
jury trial in Supreme Court, New York County. On February 22,
1980 the jury found him guilty of two counts of Rape in the
First Degree, N.Y. Penal Law 130.35 (McKinney 1983); two
counts of Sodomy in the First Degree, N.Y. Penal Law § 130.50
(McKinney 1983); and one count of Assault in the First Degree,
N Y Penal Law § 120.10
(McKinney 1983). Petitioner was sentenced on April 16, 1980 to
concurrent prison terms of from 8 1/3 to 25 years on the Rape
and Sodomy counts and 4 to 12 years on the Assault count.
Three months after his conviction, petitioner was adjudicated
mentally ill by a Maine superior court.
On October 14, 1982, petitioner, represented by new counsel,
filed an appeal to the Appellate Division. In his appeal,
petitioner claimed that the trial court had erred by not
suppressing his statements after an improper Miranda warning,
that he had not received a fair trial, and that he should be
resentenced because there had not been a complete pre-sentence
report and no psychiatric evaluation of the petitioner had been
undertaken prior to sentencing. On March 13, 1984 the Appellate
Division, First Department, affirmed petitioner's conviction.
People v. Rollins, 99 A.D.2d 1032, 472 N.Y.S.2d 794 (1st Dept.
1984). Leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals was denied on
May 18, 1984.
On August 7, 1986, petitioner filed a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of New York. On October 22, 1987, the
District Court dismissed the petition for failure to exhaust
state remedies. On July 17, 1987, petitioner filed a motion to
vacate judgment of his conviction pursuant to New York
Criminal Procedure Law § 440.10 on the grounds that he was not
afforded effective assistance of counsel and that his guilt was
not established beyond a reasonable doubt. On September 23,
1987, Justice Greenfield, in a written decision, denied
petitioner's motion. People v. Rollins, Indictment No. ...