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Samuel Seay v. Superintendent Khahaifa

January 13, 2012

SAMUEL SEAY, PETITIONER,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT KHAHAIFA, RESPONDENT.



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

DECISION AND ORDER

I. Introduction

By a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, pro se petitioner Samuel Seay ("Seay" or "Petitioner") attacks the constitutionality of his detention in Respondent's custody. Petitioner is incarcerated pursuant to a judgment of conviction entered against him on May 26, 2009, in Erie County Court of New York State Supreme Court, following his guilty plea to one count of second degree assault and one count of aggravated criminal contempt.

II. Factual Background and Procedural History

Petitioner's conviction stems from an incident in which he stabbed an acquaintance on February 15, 2008. The victim, who had an order of protection against Petitioner in place, was stabbed multiple times. Petitioner was indicted on one count of assault in the second degree, one count of aggravated criminal contempt, one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, and one count of criminal contempt in the second degree. With the assistance of counsel, Petitioner elected to plead guilty to second degree assault and second degree criminal contempt in full satisfaction of the indictment.

On May 26, 2009, Petitioner was sentenced, pursuant to the plea agreement, to a determinate term of imprisonment of three years followed by five years of post-release supervision for the assault conviction and a concurrent term of one year for the criminal contempt conviction. Petitioner's counsel did not file a Notice of Appeal, and Petitioner did not pursue a pro se direct appeal of his conviction.

On September 16, 2009, Petitioner a pro se motion to vacate the judgment to New York Criminal Procedure Law ("C.P.L.") § 440.10, asserting that he had discovered new evidence, that defense counsel had committed misconduct and had misrepresented information in connection with his guilty plea; the indictment was defective; and that his sentence was illegal. On November 9, 2009, Petitioner filed a pro se motion to set aside his sentence pursuant to C.P.L. § 440.20, claiming that the sentence did not comply with the plea agreement.

On December 23, 2009, the trial court denied both motions on the merits. Leave to appeal to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, of New York State Supreme Court was denied July 8, 2010. Petitioner then requested leave to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals, but this application was dismissed as the underlying order was not appealable as a matter of law. See N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 450.10.

This timely habeas petition followed in which Petitioner asserts a veritable laundry list of complaints. Respondent's answer to the petition asserts that virtually all of the claims are unexhausted and procedurally defaulted and, in any event, uniformly without merit. For the reasons set forth below, habeas relief is denied, and the petition is dismissed.

III. Analysis of the Petition

A. Ground One

Petitioner asserts that (1) defense counsel, the prosecutor, and the trial court conducted a Sandoval hearing in his absence;

(2) defense counsel, the prosecutor, and the police knew that the victim allegedly made "intrusions" into his home, "assaulting" him by "throwing hot cooking grease burning the [Petitioner's] scalp and forehead while being asked to leave the [Petitioner's] home";

(3) Petitioner was coerced into pleading guilty or be subjected to a "consecutive sentence from a CPL 710.30 statement [sic]" of which Petitioner was "denied [sic] to review"; and (4) the trial court "chose to suppress the officer's statement and proceed with a Huntley hearing without the presence or ...


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