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Martinez v. Archuleta

United States District Court, D. Colorado

October 2, 2014

MIGUEL R. MARTINEZ, Applicant,
v.
WARDEN LOU ARCHULETA, FCF, and JOHN W. SUTHERS, Attorney General of the State of Colorado, Respondents.

ORDER DENYING AMENDED APPLICATION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

RAYMOND P. MOORE, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the amended Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (ECF No. 6) ("the Amended Application") filed pro se by Applicant Miguel R. Martinez. Respondents have filed an Amended Answer to § 2254 Application (ECF No. 23) ("the Amended Answer") and Mr. Martinez has filed Applicant's Reply to Respondents' Answer to § 2254 Application (ECF No. 25) ("the Traverse"). After reviewing the record, including the Amended Application, the Amended Answer, the Traverse, and the state court record, the Court finds and concludes that the Amended Application should be denied and the case dism issed with prejudice.

I. BACKGROUND

Mr. Martinez is challenging the validity of his conviction and sentence in Jefferson County District Court case number 10CR2259. Mr. Martinez originally was charged with possession with intent to distribute a schedule II controlled substance, 25-450 grams (Count One), a class 3 felony offense, and possession of drug paraphernalia (Count Two), a class 2 petty offense. ( See ECF No. 11-1 at 3-4.) On January 25, 2011, the trial court granted the prosecution's motion to amend Count One to possession with intent to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance, 25-450 grams, second offense, a class 2 felony offense. ( See ECF No. 1 at 42.) On April 29, 2011, Mr. Martinez agreed to plead guilty to an added Count Four charging possession with intent to distribute a schedule II controlled substance, second or subseq uent offense, a class 2 felony offense. ( See ECF No. 11-1 at 9.) On June 6, 2011, he was sentenced to sixteen years in prison and five years of mandatory parole. ( See id. ) Mr. Martinez did not file a direct appeal.

On September 6, 2011, Mr. Martinez filed in the trial court a combined motion seeking relief pursuant to Rule 35 of the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure and appointment of counsel. ( See id. at 8.) Counsel was appointed to represent Mr. Martinez in the state court postconviction proceedings. On January 5, 2012, the trial court denied the Rule 35 motion and a copy of the trial court's order is attached to the original application in this action. ( See ECF No. 1 at 24-27.) The Colorado Court of Appeals subsequently affirmed the trial court's order denying the Rule 35 motion and a copy of the appellate court's order also is attached to the original application in this action. ( See id. at 115-124.) On April 7, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court denied Mr. Martinez's petition for writ of certiorari in the state court postconviction proceedings. ( See id. at 126.)

The Amended Application was filed on June 12, 2014. Mr. Martinez does not provide a clear statement of each claim he is asserting in the Amended Application. However, Respondents discern the following claims in the Amended Application:

1. Breach of a plea agreement calling for an 8-year sentence in exchange for waiver of a preliminary hearing; 2 Ineffective assistance of trial counsel, in that:
(a) counsel failed to insist on compliance with the earlier plea agreement;
(b) counsel failed to investigate the possibility that the drugs in the bag Mr. Martinez was carrying belonged to his wife;
(c) counsel advised Mr. Martinez that his chances of success at trial were small;
(d) counsel advised Mr. Martinez to plead guilty to an added count charging a higher-class felony than was originally charged and incorrectly advised him that under the agreement:
(i) he would be eligible for alternative sentencing; and
(ii) the quantity of drugs in his possession when he was arrested would not be used against him at sentencing;
(e) counsel advised Mr. Martinez against seeking to withdraw the guilty plea prior to sentencing;
(f) counsel coerced Mr. Martinez into accepting the plea agreement; and
(g) there was an actual conflict of interest between counsel and Mr. Martinez.

In a prior order the Court determined that the claims identified by Respondents are a fair and liberal construction of the Amended Application. ( See ECF No. 15 at 3.) In the same order the Court dismissed claims 1, 2(a), 2(b), and 2(e)-2(g) as unexhausted and procedurally barred. Therefore, only claims 2(c) and 2(d) remain to be addressed on the merits. Although Mr. Martinez includes arguments in the Traverse relevant to the merits of some of the dismissed claims and in particular claim 2(g), the Court will not address his arguments regarding the merits of the dismissed claims.

II. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

The Court must construe the Amended Application and other papers filed by Mr. Martinez liberally because he is not represented by an attorney. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972) (per curiam); Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). However, the Court should ...


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