Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Peek v. Carlton

September 5, 2008

MICHAEL ANDERSON PEEK, PETITIONER,
v.
HOWARD CARLTON, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas W. Phillips United States District Judge

Phillips

MEMORANDUM

This is a petition for the writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, filed by petitioner Michael Anderson Peek ("Peek"). The respondent has filed his response to the petition. For the following reasons, the petition for the writ of habeas corpus will be DENIED and this action will be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

I. Standard of Review

A state prisoner is entitled to habeas corpus relief "only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Under Rule 8 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases In The United States District Courts, the court is to determine, after a review of the answer and the records of the case, whether an evidentiary hearing is required. If no hearing is required, the district judge is to dispose of the case as justice dictates. If the record shows conclusively that Peek is not entitled to relief under § 2254, there is no need for an evidentiary hearing and the petition should be denied. Baker v. United States, 781 F.2d 85, 92 (6th Cir. 1986).

II. Factual Background

The respondent has provided the court with copies of the relevant documents as to Peek's direct appeal and post-conviction proceedings. [Court File No. 14, Notice of Filing Documents, Addenda 1-4]. Peek was convicted by a jury, in the Circuit Court of Hamilton County, Tennessee, of aggravated rape (four counts), attempted aggravated rape (one count), rape (three counts), aggravated robbery (one count), robbery (two counts), and aggravated burglary (three counts); the convictions involved five victims over a span of 18 months and the cases were tried jointly. Peek was sentenced to an effective sentence of 99 years in prison. The judgments of conviction were affirmed on direct appeal. State v. Peek, No. E1998-00038-CCA-R3-CD, 2000 WL 565129 (Tenn. Crim. App. May 3, 2000) [Addendum 2, Document 3], perm. app. denied, id. (Tenn. Nov. 13, 2000) [Addendum 2, Document 6].

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals stated the facts against Peek in each case in the following lengthy summary:

Victim One

The first victim, T.P., a thirty-one-year-old single mother, testified that she lived in the Hamilton Point Apartments in the East Brainerd area of Chattanooga with her two young sons. On the morning of Wednesday, January 11, 1995, she had awakened her sons as usual, fed them breakfast, and waited with them for the school bus. At about 8:30 a.m., she returned to her apartment and was completing some paperwork in her bedroom when she heard her front door creak open. She walked toward her bedroom door and saw a man standing in the hallway. He wore a bandana over his face and some type of a hat to cover his hair. With his hand in his jacket pocket, he told her not to scream or he would "put a hole in" her. He told her to take off her glasses and turn around. He then went through her dresser until he found some stockings which he used to blindfold her. From that point on, she could see nothing and testified that she could not visually identify her attacker. She did tell him that her sons needed her and that he could take whatever he wanted if he would promise not to hurt her.

After T.P. was blindfolded, she was told to "disrobe" and sit down on the bed. Her attacker then told her to lay down on the bed where he fondled her and told her how pretty she was. He then penetrated her vaginally with his penis and ejaculated.

T.P. also testified that her attacker had asked her to "make love to him like I did my husband." After the rape, he asked if "it was good" for her and said that it "wasn't that good" for him. She chose to say nothing, fearing that if she said the wrong thing, he would kill her. He then went into her closet, took a pair of shoelaces out of her tennis shoes, tied her hands behind her back, and tied her feet. He took money from her purse and from a coin holder on top of the stove. After pulling telephone cords out of the walls, he came back to the bedroom and told her if she wanted to see her sons alive, she would "write this off as a bad experience" and learn to lock her door. He told her that "his boys" were watching her and that if she wanted to see her sons make it home, she would not call the police. Once her attacker had left and she was free, she locked her door and called the police using parts of telephone equipment she could piece together.

T.P.'s testimony was followed by the testimony of three of her neighbors: Patty Shipley, who lived in the apartment diagonally across from the victim; Renee Diane Moton, who lived with her son in the apartment directly across from T.P.; and Sherman Moton, the eleven-year-old son of Moton. Shipley positively identified the defendant as the man she saw outside the apartment building as she was leaving on the morning of January 11, 1995, at approximately 7:15 a.m. The defendant was standing in front of T.P.'s car, "just kind of propped up there." Moton and her son positively identified the defendant as the man each saw standing at the end of the breezeway outside of the victim's apartment on the morning of January 11, 1995, at approximately 8:00 a.m. The defendant was leaning against a fence at the end of the breezeway and "looking out into the woods." In each case, the defendant and the witnesses had spoken, exchanging common greetings.

T.P. was examined by Dr. Bert Geer at the Erlanger Medical Center, according to police protocol for possible rape victims. Dr. Geer collected samples for a rape kit which were turned over to the Chattanooga Police Department for DNA testing. The victim's medical history and assault information form, a twenty-five question, preprinted form, included T.P.'s identification of the race of her assailant as African-American.

T.P. subsequently listened for approximately fifteen minutes to a tape of an interview between the defendant and Detective Bill Phillips of the Chattanooga Police Department under conditions agreed to by the defendant and the State. T.P. positively identified the voice of the defendant as the voice of her attacker.

The State's expert witness, TBI Agent Joe Minor, testified that the vaginal smears taken from T.P.'s rape kit had been tested at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's forensic services division in Nashville. The five-probe DNA test resulted in a DNA profile that matched the specimen obtained from the defendant with a probability of selecting an unrelated individual at random with a matching DNA profile-or the odds that someone other than the defendant would have the same DNA profile-being approximately one in 19,000 in the Caucasian population and approximately one in 22,000 in the African American population. According to Agent Minor's testimony, greater than 99.99 percent of the population could be excluded as being the source of the DNA sample taken from T.P.

Based on these facts, the defendant was convicted of three separate felonies: aggravated rape for the vaginal penetration of the victim while leading the victim to reasonably believe that he had a weapon; aggravated robbery for the theft of money while leading the victim to reasonably believe that he had a weapon; and aggravated burglary for entering a habitation and committing a felony. The sentences, all concurrent for this series of acts, were twenty-five years, twelve years, and six years, respectively.

Victim Two

The second victim, K.S., a twenty-three-year-old, also lived at Hamilton Point Apartments but in a different building from T.P. K.S. testified that on December 8, 1995, she was returning home alone from her job at a local restaurant at approximately 2:20 a.m. Because all the parking places in front of her building were taken, she had to park on the side. She locked her car and, carrying her work apron in her hand, walked around to the front of the building when a man emerged from the breezeway. She could tell he was an African American. She was not alarmed, thinking the man was one of her neighbors, until she noticed that he had his face covered. She began to scream as he grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth with his hand. He told her to be quiet or he would hurt her. He steered her over to the side of the building where four air conditioning units were located behind a latticework fence and bushes.

Once they reached a space in the middle between two units, they stopped. K.S. was able to engage the defendant in a discussion of genital warts, which she claimed to have; of her roommate situation; and of the fact that she was menstruating. She testified that his tone with her was "very conversational, very calm, very deliberate, like not a thing in the world is going wrong here." He finally told her to take off all her clothes and be quiet or he would kill her. He allowed her to remove a tampon and then, taking her shoulders, pushed her over one of the units and penetrated her anally. K.S. testified that after the rape was over, the defendant asked for her money and took what he found in the pocket of her pants.

K.S. sought the help of neighbors who called the police. She was taken to the Rape Crisis Center where a rape kit was processed on her and given to the police. K.S. identified the race of her attacker as African-American on the victim's medical history and assault information form completed at the Rape Crisis Center.

On March 14, 1997, K.S. listened to the same voice exemplar that T.P. had heard. K.S. positively identified the voice of the defendant as the voice of the man who raped her.

The State's expert, Agent Minor, testified that the DNA profile from seminal fluid on the work apron used by the defendant to wipe himself after the rape was tested at the TBI laboratory and matched the defendant's with a probability of selecting an unrelated individual at random being approximately one in 27 billion in the Caucasian population and one in 195 billion in the African-American population.

Based on these facts, the defendant was convicted of rape for the anal penetration of the victim and robbery for the theft of money from the victim's clothing. The sentences, both to be served concurrently, were twelve years and six years respectively. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively to the twenty-five year sentence for the aggravated rape of T.P. in No. 213109.

Victim Three

The third victim, G.C., a forty-four-year-old woman, testified that she was a resident of Hidden Creek Apartments, a complex in the same neighborhood as the Hamilton Point Apartments where victims one and two lived. G.C. testified that on Friday, January 26, 1996, at approximately 7:00 p.m., she had parked her car in the apartment lot and was walking toward her building when a man came toward her and then moved behind her and grabbed her, placing his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming. He threatened to stab her in the heart, a threat he repeated over the course of the events that followed. He dragged her to the bushes, pushed her down into the mud, and took the money she had in her purse. As she struggled, he dragged and pushed her through dense woods behind the apartment complex.

When they got to a clearing in the woods, the defendant stopped and told G.C. to take off all her clothes. The defendant first made her get on her knees and perform oral sex. Afterwards, he had her cover her eyes with her hands while he pulled his hat over her face so that she could not see. Later, he blindfolded her by tying her turtleneck sweater around her face. He then made her lie down and he penetrated her vaginally, telling her that "[y]ou're supposed to be enjoying this. I mean, act like you're enjoying this. You're supposed to pretend you're enjoying this." The defendant threatened anal rape but did not carry out this threat. Instead, he took laces from G.C.'s boots, tied her hands behind her back, tied her feet in front of her, and left her blindfolded with her own turtleneck.

Once free, G.C. ran into her apartment and called 911. She was taken to the Rape Crisis Center where a rape kit was processed on her and given to the police. She identified her attacker's race as African-American on the victim's medical history and assault information form completed at the Rape Crisis Center.

G.C. was unable to positively identify the voice on the exemplar as that of her assailant. She did testify that in the moments before the defendant grabbed her on the night of January 26, she recognized him as the same man who had passed her on the walkway just nights earlier, similarly bundled up.

Agent Minor testified that the DNA profile from vaginal swabs taken from G.C.'s rape kit were tested at the TBI laboratory and matched the defendant's profile with a probability of selecting an unrelated individual at random being approximately one in 370,000 in the Caucasian population and one in 777,000 in the African-American population.

Rebecca Adams, who lived in the same apartment complex in the unit beside G.C., testified to the following events of January 24, 1996, just two days before the defendant attacked and raped G.C.:

It was late at night, I'd been working fairly late and it was after eleven o'clock at night. It was dark out and misty. It had been raining a little bit, I think. And I parked and got my mail and I was carrying two bags in my hand walking towards my apartment, which is on the other side of the parking lot. And as I walked across the parking lot, there was someone standing there in the shadows. It was someone who was wearing a hooded jacket, and, and as I walked towards my apartment complex, that person moved out from behind the shadows and started walking towards me.

And I walked a little bit faster and that person fell in line approaching towards me, walking behind me. And I walked faster and he walked faster, and I could feel that any, within a short amount of time, he was going to be very, very close to me, and I was getting very concerned, and I didn't really know what to do, but I turned around and I said, "Hi, how are you?" And he, he just kind of stumbled. I think I took him a little bit by surprise, and he started-he moved a little bit and continued walking, but moved a little bit out of my direction, and then I just walked up to my apartment as quick as I could. ....

Q: Okay. Do you, would you be able to recognize the person who was behind you when you, who you greeted?

A: Yes.

Q: Can you tell the jury whether or not that person is in the courtroom today?

A: Yes.

Q: And for purposes of the record and for the jury, could you identify who that person is?

A: The person in the blue shirt over there holding his hand up.

Based on these facts, the defendant was convicted of rape for sexually penetrating the victim by fellatio; rape for the vaginal penetration of the victim; and robbery for the theft of money from her purse. The sentences, all to be served concurrently, were twelve years, twelve years, and six years respectively. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively to the twelve-year sentence for the rape of K.S. in No. 213111.

Victim Four

The fourth victim, K.T., a twenty-five-year-old single mother of two children, ages three and one, testified that on July 1, 1996, she was living in the downstairs apartment of a duplex she shared with her sister, who lived in the upstairs apartment. The duplex is in the East Lake area of Chattanooga. On this night, K.T. had put her children to sleep on the couch and made a pallet for herself beside them on the floor because it was hot and her apartment had no air conditioning. At some point during the night, she woke up because someone was dragging her through the apartment. He had his hands over her nose and mouth.

K.T. testified that she started fighting and struggling against her attacker until he slammed her against a wall, telling her to stop fighting, and placed a knife to her throat. When she saw her three-year-old daughter in front of her, screaming and crying, she stopped fighting. Her attacker told her to send her daughter back to bed in the living room, and she complied. He then blindfolded her with one of her tee shirts and told her to take her clothes off. She was wearing a tee shirt and shorts and removed her shorts. Her attacker told her, "I hear you do it good, you better, because your life depends on it." He then forced her to perform oral sex on him in her bedroom. He led her back into the hallway, telling her to get down on the floor on her knees, and attempted to have anal sex with her. Instead he penetrated her vaginally, threatening to cut her throat if anyone showed up. Finally, he took her back into her bedroom where he tied her hands behind her back and then tied her feet to her hands, using a vacuum cleaner cord he had cut before the attack started, and leaving her lying on her stomach on her bed, blindfolded. Once he was gone, her three-year-old daughter came and took the blindfold off her mother and United her hands and feet.

K.T.'s sister called the police, and the victim was taken to the Rape Crisis Center. A rape kit was processed on her and turned over to the police. K.T. identified her attacker as an African American male on the victim's medical history and assault information form completed at the Rape Crisis Center.

Agent Minor testified that the vaginal slide and swabs from K.T.'s rape kit were tested at the TBI laboratory and matched the defendant's DNA profile with a probability of selecting an unrelated individual at random with a matching DNA profile-or the odds that someone other than the defendant would have the same DNA profile-being one in 50 million in the Caucasian population and one in 145 million in the African American population.

K.T. also listened to the voice exemplar of the defendant for approximately fifteen minutes. She made a positive identification of the voice of the defendant as that of the man who raped her on July 1, 1996.

On cross-examination, K.T. testified that a few days prior to the attack, the defendant had driven by the duplex she shared with her sister on his motorcycle and spoken to the two sisters while they were sitting on the porch at approximately 11:00 p.m. He did not get off his motorcycle but commented that he had seen them from the gas station across the street and wanted to stop and say hello since he had not seen them for a number of years. K.T. testified that she recognized the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.