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Jesse Jamison v. Mark Bradt

July 12, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Michael A. Telesca United States District Judge


I. Introduction

Pro se Petitioner Jesse Jamison("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 July 25, 2001, in New York State, County Court, Monroe County (Hon. Elma A. Bellini), convicting him, after a jury trial, of Murder in the Second Degree (N.Y. Penal Law ("Penal Law") § 125.25 [4]).

For the reasons stated below, habeas relief is denied and the petition is dismissed.

II. Factual Background and Procedural History

On November 5, 2000, Shalonda Beveritt-Jamison, Petitioner's wife, left for work at 6:30 a.m., leaving her children, including Cedreuna Williams ("Cedreuna" or "the victim"), in the care of Petitioner. At approximately 11:30 a.m., Petitioner was awakened by Cedreuna's three-year-old sister, Reneisha. Reneisha told Petitioner that Cedreuna had wet her pants. Petitioner requested that Reneisha tell her five-year-old sister Rayonia to get Cedreuna a clean pair of pants. Petitioner proceeded to the bedroom Cedreuna shared with her sisters and put Cedreuna across his lap to "whoop her," but saw that she had again wet her pants. Petitioner "whooped her five times" and told her to go to bed. Petitioner left the room, but came back a short time later to discover that Cedreuna had again soiled her pants. Petitioner had Rayonia change Cedreuna and wash her up in the bathroom. T.T. 454, 513-515.

When Cedreuna returned to the bedroom, Petitioner was waiting for her. Petitioner struck Cedreuna on her bottom causing her to fall forward and strike her middle against the bottom wooden portion of her oak bunk-bed and then fall backward striking her head on the floor. Cedreuna started to scream, holding her legs in the air. While she lay on the floor, Petitioner continued to try to hit her bottom, but struck other areas of her body because she was moving around. When Petitioner finished hitting Cedreuna, he picked her off the floor, put her in her bed, and left to go to a friend's house. T.T. 454-455, 513-517.

When Petitioner's wife returned home from work at approximately 4:00 p.m. that day, she found Cedreuna's lifeless body laying next to her oak bunk-bed. Petitioner arrived home from his friend's house shortly thereafter and asked what was wrong with Cedreuna. Petitioner told his wife that he did not know why Cedreuna was on the floor. Petitioner tried CPR, while his wife called 911. When police and emergency personnel arrived, Petitioner told them that he had "whooped [Cedreuna]" and put her to bed. T.T. 285-288, 328-329. Petitioner told Officer Randy Holmes of the Rochester Police Department ("RPD") that he spanked Cedreuna an hour before calling 911 and that when he went to check on her he found her unresponsive. T.T. 366-367. Petitioner told Sergeant Annie Craven Walker of the RPD that he beat Cedreuna for wetting her clothes, that she went to sleep thereafter, but then came downstairs and played a game before going back upstairs. He further explained to Sergeant Craven Walker that he was home with the children all day. T.T. 391, 402. Petitioner told Officer Charles LoFaso of the RPD that he spanked Cedreuna at approximately 12:00 to 12:30 p.m. and put her to bed. He said he checked on her at 1:00 p.m. and had one of the other girls in the home check on her at 2:00 p.m. At 2:00 p.m., Petitioner left to get a drink at a nearby store. T.T. 416.

Eventually, Petitioner provided Investigator Evelyn Baez of the RPD with a full account of what occurred on November 5, 2000, which included striking Cedreuna with such force that she fell forward striking the wooden bed, then falling backward hitting her head. Petitioner further acknowledged that he did not stay at the house after striking Cedreuna and that he did not return until after his wife had returned from work. T.T. 454-455, 513-517.

Dr. Thomas Smith, a Deputy Medical Examiner for the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office, performed the autopsy on Cedreuna. The external examination revealed bruising above her right and left eyebrows, on her forehead, and on her back and buttocks. T.T. 543-546, 552. The internal examination revealed that Cedreuna's abdomen was full with more than a cup of blood. T.T. 559. After further investigation, Dr. Smith observed tearing in the mesentery area, the omentum, the small bowel and observed three separate lacerations to the liver. T.T. 560-562. Dr. Smith testified that all of these internal injuries were caused by blunt force trauma to the abdomen and that they occurred within a couple hours of death. T.T. 562, 564, 572. Dr. Smith testified further that the cause of death was "internal injuries due to blunt trauma to the abdomen." T.T. 569. Dr. Smith also testified that the internal injuries suffered by Cedreuna were not consistent with spanking. T.T. 570.

A jury trial was conducted before the Hon. Bellini, at the close of which Petitioner was found guilty of Murder in the Second Degree and subsequently sentenced to fifteen years to life imprisonment. T.T. 715; Sentencing Mins. [S.M.] 16.

On November 23, 2007, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department unanimously affirmed the judgment of conviction, and leave to appeal was denied. People v. Jamison, 45 A.D.3d 1438 (4th Dep't 2007); lv. denied, 10 N.Y.3d 766 (2008).

On or about January 13, 2009, Petitioner filed a motion for a writ of error coram nobis in the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. That motion was denied on March 20, 2009, and leave to appeal was denied. People v. Jamison, 60 A.D.3d 1439 (2009), lv. denied, 2009 N.Y. Slip Op 98509U (2009).

This habeas corpus petition followed, wherein Petitioner seeks relief on the following grounds: (1) ...

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