The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Michael A. Telesca United States District Judge
Pro se Petitioner Danny Pardee ("Petitioner") has filed a timely petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging the constitutionality of his custody pursuant to a judgment entered December 16, 2003, in New York State, County Court, Niagara County, convicting him, after a jury trial, of Murder in the Second Degree (N.Y. Penal Law ("Penal Law") § 125.25, 20.00), and Conspiracy in the First Degree (Penal Law § 105.17).
For the reasons stated below, the writ is denied and the petition is dismissed.
II. Factual Background and Procedural History
The charges arise out of Petitioner's involvement in the death of sixteen year-old Jennifer Bolander ("Bolander" or "the victim"), whose body was found in the early morning hours of December 14, 2002 on the LaSalle Expressway in the City of Niagara Falls, New York.
The day after the victim's body was found, Petitioner was arrested on an unrelated warrant and taken to the county jail. On December 19, 2002, brothers Chris and Kyle Cummings were arrested on murder charges for the death of Bolander. Both Chris and Kyle Cummings made statements to police which implicated themselves as well as Petitioner in the murder of Bolander.
Petitioner and the Cummings brothers were indicted on March 12, 2003 by a Niagara County grand jury and charged with two counts of murder in the second degree, conspiracy in the second degree, and conspiracy in the first degree.
Prior to trial, discovery took place and Huntley and Cardona hearings were held from June 23, 2003 to July 24, 2003.
Also prior to trial, the Cummings brothers entered pleas to the charges against them with regard to the murder of Bolander. Petitioner proceeded to trial, and the Cummings brothers testified against him. On November 3, 2003, Petitioner was found guilty of murder in the second degree and conspiracy in the first degree. On December 16, 2003, Petitioner was sentenced to a minimum of twenty-five years and a maximum of life.
Petitioner appealed his judgment of conviction to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, which was unanimously affirmed. People v. Pardee, 24 A.D.3d 1252 (4th Dept. 2005), lv. denied, 6 N.Y.3d 851 (2006).
No collateral motions were filed.
The instant habeas petition followed, wherein Petitioner seeks relief on the following grounds: (1) ineffective assistance of trial counsel; (2) the trial court erred in admitting the statements of his ...