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Conklin v. Hulihan

United States District Court, S.D. New York

June 17, 2015

JOSHUA CONKLIN, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT WILLIAM F. HULIHAN, Mid-State Correctional Facility, Respondent.

Joshua Conklin, c/o Michelle Cayo, Parole Officer, Peekskill, NY, Petitioner (Pro Se).

Andrew R. Kass, Assistant District Attorney, Orange County, Goshen, NY, for Respondent.

OPINION AND ORDER

SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Petitioner Joshua Conklin brings this pro se habeas corpus petition pursuant to section 2254 of Title 28 of the United States Code challenging his state court conviction following a jury trial in New York County Court, Orange County.[1] After being convicted of burglary in the second degree[2] and grand larceny in the fourth degree, [3] Conklin was sentenced to concurrent terms of eight years for the burglary conviction and two to four years for the grand larceny conviction, as well as five years post-release supervision.[4]

On June 13, 2011, Conklin filed the instant Petition, challenging his conviction on the following grounds: (1) juror misconduct; (2) ineffective assistance of counsel; (3) the conviction was based on insufficient evidence and/or was against the weight of the evidence; and (4) his incriminating statements were not voluntary. For the following reasons, the Petition is denied.

II. BACKGROUND

A. The Offending Conduct and Arrest

The crimes underlying Conklin's conviction occurred on September 13, 2007.[5] At approximately 12:30 p.m., Shaun Parker noticed a person riding a bicycle through a parking lot next to the home of his parents, Don and Esther Parker, who were out at the time.[6] Parker walked around the house and saw the same bicycle laying in the backyard.[7] Parker noticed that the back door was open, called the police, and reported that someone was in the house.[8] Conklin then came out of the house through the open back door.[9] Parker yelled at him, asking what he was doing in the house, and Conklin yelled back that he was looking for Mr. Parker.[10] Parker then told Conklin that the police were on their way.[11] Conklin ran away, and Parker chased him, while calling the police on his cell phone.[12]

Officer Kelly Decker arrived, and Parker told him that Conklin was behind the house located on Seward Avenue next to Church Street Park.[13] Decker drove to the park, walked to the entrance, and saw Parker about 300 to 400 feet away at the other end of the park.[14] Decker saw Parker jump over the fence and start to run.[15] Decker chased him and took him into custody.[16] Detective Worden, several other officers, and Parker all arrived at that time.[17] Conklin looked at Worden and said that all he did was go into Mr. Parker's house and look around.[18] Worden told Decker to take Conklin to the station and that no one was to talk to him until Worden returned.[19] Worden went back to the home and saw Don Parker's wallet on top of a dresser.[20] Another officer found Don Parker's credit card on the ground near the fence that Conklin had climbed over, and reported it to Worden.[21]

While driving to the station, Conklin asked Decker what was going on.[22] Decker stated that Conklin would have to talk to somebody, and Conklin replied that Mr. Parker had told him to come in.[23] Decker stated that he was not asking any questions and that Conklin would have to speak with the detective at the station.[24]

At the police station, Worden advised Conklin of his Miranda rights, which Worden read from a preprinted card.[25] Worden read each right separately, asked Conklin if he understood, and Conklin nodded his head up and down to indicate that he understood.[26] Conklin then agreed to speak with Worden.[27] Conklin admitted that he had gone into the home and taken a credit card, and signed a written statement to that effect.[28]

Later that day, Conklin was brought to the medical unit for an urgent medical assessment.[29] Conklin told Gina Barbusci, a registered nurse, that he had taken three OxyContin, 80 milligrams each, and then another three at around noon that day.[30] Barbusci examined Conklin and found that his pupils were constricted and did not react to light, that he appeared pale, and that he had an altered mental status.[31] Based on this, Barbusci sent Conklin to the emergency room for further evaluation.[32] At the emergency room, Patricia Moran, a registered nurse, examined Conklin and found him alert and without slurred speech.[33] Conklin was discharged less than two hours later.[34]

B. Procedural History

On June 5, 2008, Conklin was convicted by a jury of second degree burglary and fourth degree grand larceny.[35] Conklin appealed his conviction to the Appellate Division, Second Department, raising the following claims: (1) the trial court should have granted the motion to suppress Conklin's statements; (2) the trial court should have granted Conklin's request for assignment of new counsel; and (3) the burglary conviction was based on insufficient evidence and/or was against the weight of the evidence.[36]

On March 2, 2010, the Appellate Division unanimously affirmed Conklin's conviction.[37] Conklin then submitted a letter seeking leave to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals, raising the same issues, which was denied on June 15, 2010.[38] Conklin then filed a motion under New York Criminal Procedure Law section 440.10, seeking to vacate judgment on the grounds of juror misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel.[39] On April 27, 2011, the County Court denied the motion, because the issues could have been raised on a direct appeal.

III. LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Deferential Standard for Federal ...


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