The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge
Petitioner, Jose Corea ("Corea" or "Petitioner"), proceeding pro se, petitions the Court for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the following reasons, Corea's petition is denied in its entirety.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On June 2, 2002, Petitioner and a companion attempted to flirt with 14-year-old Caroline Bonilla ("Caroline") outside of the Ajacatla restaurant, in Brentwood, New York. However, their advances were thwarted when Caroline's two older brothers ordered that she go inside the restaurant. Petitioner became noticeably angry at this interference.
Later that evening, Petitioner returned to the restaurant with 15-20 of his cohorts. Eric Bonilla ("Eric"), Caroline's older brother, and his family members were outside of the restaurant when Petitioner and his friends approached. Armed with bats and knives, the large group of men brutally attacked Eric, breaking his arm with a bat and stabbing his liver. Eric managed to escape into the restaurant and call the police.
Petitioner and his cohorts also attacked Mark Hernandez ("Hernandez"), Eric's brother, who escaped after being struck with a bat. Confused after the chaotic attack, Hernandez mistakenly believed that Petitioner and his friends had taken Eric with them in a car. Hernandez thus jumped into his car and followed one of the vehicles as it attempted to flee the scene. Before losing sight of the car, Hernandez managed to call the police and provide them with a description of the vehicle.
Later that same day, the police recovered the car that Hernandez had chased and discovered that Petitioner was the registered owner of the vehicle. Perhaps in an attempt to thwart his own arrest, Petitioner called the police and fabricated a story; Petitioner claimed that he had been carjacked at knifepoint at the Ajacatla restaurant and that his carjackers had attacked Eric while Petitioner remained in the car. Petitioner's assailants then forced Petitioner out of the vehicle and told him to flee the scene. However, Petitioner's carjacking story was contradicted by the fact that Petitioner arrived at the police station with his car keys. When asked about this, Petitioner changed his story and admitted that he was at the scene of Eric's attack, but stated that he only drove and had not stabbed anyone.
The officers arrested Petitioner after determining that Petitioner was not truthful about his lack of involvement in the attack. Caroline later identified Petitioner in a line-up and stated that she witnessed Petitioner holding a knife during the melee. Hernandez also identified Petitioner as the driver of the car he had pursued.
On March 8, 2002, a Suffolk County jury convicted Petitioner of Gang Assault in the First Degree and Assault in the Third Degree. Prior to his sentencing, Petitioner moved to set aside the verdict on the grounds of newly-discovered evidence. The Suffolk County Court denied Petitioner's motion, and on May 17, 2002, sentenced Petitioner to a determinate term of incarceration of ten years on the Gang Assault in the First Degree and a definite period of imprisonment of one year on the Assault in the Third Degree.
On January 10, 2006, the Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed Petitioner's judgment of conviction, but as a matter of discretion and in the interests of justice, vacated the conviction of assault in the third degree and dismissed this count.
People v. Corea, 25 A.D.3d 563 (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dep't 2006). The New York State Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal on April 11, 2006. People v. Corea, 6 N.Y.3d 846, 849 N.E.2d 975, 816 N.Y.S.2d 752 (2006).
On March 3, 2006, Petitioner filed a motion to vacate his judgment pursuant to New York Criminal Procedure Law § 440.10. Petitioner argued that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney did not move to suppress Petitioner's statements to the police, and that the statements were illegally obtained and should not have been admitted at trial. On April 10, 2006, the Suffolk County Court denied Petitioner's motion, and on July 19, 2006, the Appellate Division, Second Department, denied Petitioner's application for leave to appeal.
On August 3, 2006, Petitioner filed this application for a writ of habeas corpus alleging that (1) he received ineffective assistance of counsel; (2) insufficient evidence existed to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; (3) the prosecution delivered an inadequate opening statement; and (4) the trial court erred when it ...